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m 


<7  c. 


THE 

ENGLISH  AND  FOREIGN 

PHILOSOPHICAL    LIBRARY. 


THE 

WOKLD  AS  WILL  AND  IDEA. 

BY 

ARTHUR    SCHOPENHAUER 


VOLUME  L 
FOUR  BOOKS, 


THE 

WORLD  AS  WILL  AND  IDEA. 


AETHUR  SCHOPENHAUER. 

TRANSLATED   FROM   THE   GERMAN  BY 
K.   B.   HALDANE,  M.A. 

AND 

J.   KEMP,   M.A. 


VOL.  I. 
CONTAINING  FOUR  BOOKS. 

!Ob  oicht  Natur  zuletzt  sich  doch  ergrtinde?"— GOETHE. 
SEVENTH  EDITION. 


LONDON 
KEGAN  PAUL,  TRENCH,  TRUBNER  &  CO.  L2 

BROADWAY  HOUSE.  68-74  CARTER  LANE,  E.C. 


B 

584272 


7%«  ri#/t/s  of  translation  and  of  reproduction  are  reserved 


Printed  in  Great  Britain  by  Ballantyne,  Hanson  &  Co. 
at  the  Ballantyne  Press,  Edinburgh 


CONTENTS. 


FIRST  BOOK. 

run 

The  World  as  Idea— First  Aspect.     The  Idea  Subobdi-  i 

nated  to  the  principle  op  sufficient  reason:  the 
Object  of  Experience  and  Science     .... 


SECOND  BOOK. 

The  World  as  Will— First  Aspect.    The  Objeotifioation 

of  the  Will 121 


THIRD  BOOK. 

The  World  as  Idea— Second  Aspect.  The  Idea  Indepen- 
dent of  the  Principle  of  Sufficient  Reason:  the 
Platonic  Idea  :  the  Object  of  Art     .       .  .       217 


FOURTH  BOOK. 

The  World  as  Will— Second  Aspect.  After  the  Attain- 
ment of  Self-knowledge.  Assertion  and  Denial  of 
the  Will  to  Live 347 


TEANSLATOES'  PEEFACK 


The  style  of  "  Die  Welt  als  Wille  und  Vorstellung "  is 
sometimes  loose  and  involved,  as  is  so  often  the  case  in 
German  philosophical  treatises.  The  translation  of  the 
book  has  consequently  been  a  matter  of  no  little  diffi- 
culty. It  was  found  that  extensive  alteration  of  the 
long  and  occasionally  involved  sentences,  however  likely 
to  prove  conducive  to  a  satisfactory  English  style,  tended 
not  only  to  obliterate  the  form  of  the  original  but  even 
to  imperil  the  meaning.  Where  a  choice  has  had  to  be 
made,  the  alternative  of  a  somewhat  slavish  adherence  to 
Schopenhauer's  ipsissima  verba  has  accordingly  been  pre- 
ferred to  that  of  inaccuracy.  The  result  is  a  piece  of 
work  which  leaves  much  to  be  desired,  but  which  has 
yet  consistently  sought  to  reproduce  faithfully  the  spirit 
as  well  as  the  letter  of  the  original. 

As  regards  the  rendering  of  the  technical  terms  about 
which  there  has  been  so  much  controversy,  the  equiva- 
lents used  have  only  been  adopted  after  careful  consider- 
ation of  their  meaning  in  the  theory  of  knowledge.  For 
example,  "  Vorstellung  "  has  been  rendered  by  "  idea,"  in 
preference  to  "  representation,"  which  is  neither  accurate, 
intelligible,   nor  elegant.     "Idee,"  is  translated   by  the 


▼i  TRANSLATORS'  PREFACE. 

same  word,  but  spelled  with  a  capital, — "  Idea."  Again, 
"  Anschauung  "  has  been  rendered  according  to  the  con- 
text, either  by  "  perception  "  simply,  or  by  "  intuition  or 
perception." 

Notwithstanding  statements  to  the  contrary  in  the  text, 
the  book  is  probably  quite  intelligible  in  itself,  apart  from 
the  treatise  "  On  the  Fourfold  Boot  of  the  Principle  of 
Sufficient  Reason."  It  has,  however,  been  considered 
desirable  to  add  an  abstract  of  the  latter  work  in  an 
appendix  to  the  third  volume  of  this  translation. 

RB.E 
J.  K. 


PREFACE  TO  THE  FIRST  EDITION. 


I  propose  to  point  out  here  how  this  book  must  be  read 
in  order  to  be  thoroughly  understood.  By  means  of  it 
I  only  intend  to  impart  a  single  thought.  Yet,  notwith- 
standing all  my  endeavours,  I  could  find  no  shorter  way 
of  imparting  it  than  this  whole  book.  I  hold  this  thought 
to  be  that  which  has  very  long  been  sought  for  under 
the  name  of  philosophy,  and  the  discovery  of  which  is 
therefore  regarded  by  those  who  are  familiar  with  his- 
tory as  quite  as  impossible  as  the  discovery  of  the  philoso- 
pher's stone,  although  it  was  already  said  by  Pliny :  Quam 
multa  fieri  non  posse,  priusquam  sint  facta,  judicantur  ? 
(Hist,  nat  7,  I.) 

According  as  we  consider  the  different  aspects  of  this 
one  thought  which  I  am  about  to  impart,  it  exhibits 
itself  as  that  which  we  call  metaphysics,  that  which  we 
call  ethics,  and  that  which  we  call  aesthetics ;  and  cer- 
tainly it  must  be  all  this  if  it  is  what  I  have  already 
acknowledged  I  take  it  to  be. 

A  system  of  thought  must  always  have  an  architectonic 
connection  or  coherence,  that  is,  a  connection  in  which 
one  part  always  supports  the  other,  though  the  latter 
does  not  support  the  former,  in  which  ultimately  the 
foundation  supports  all  the  rest  without  being  supported 
by  it,  and  the  apex  is  supported  without  supporting. 
On  the  other  hand,  a  single  thought,  however  compre- 


viii  PREFACE  TO  THE  FIRST  EDITION. 

hensive  it  may  be,  must  preserve  the  most  perfect  unity. 
If  it  admits  of  being  broken  up  into  parts  to  facilitate 
its  communication,  the  connection  of  these  parts  must 
yet  be  organic,  i.e.,  it  must  be  a  connection  in  which 
every  part  supports  the  whole  just  as  much  as  it  is 
supported  by  it,  a  connection  in  which  there  is  no  first 
and  no  last,  in  which  the  whole  thought  gains  distinct- 
ness through  every  part,  and  even  the  smallest  part 
cannot  be  completely  understood  unless  the  whole  has 
already  been  grasped.  A  book,  however,  must  always 
have  a  first  and  a  last  line,  and  in  this  respect  will 
always  remain  very  unlike  an  organism,  however  like 
one  its  content  may  be :  thus  form  and  matter  are  here 
in  contradiction. 

It  is  self-evident  that  under  these  circumstances  no 
other  advice  can  be  given  as  to  how  one  may  enter  into 
the  thought  explained  in  this  work  than  to  read  the  book 
twice,  and  the  first  time  with  great  patience,  a  patience 
which  is  only  to  be  derived  from  the  belief,  voluntarily 
accorded,  that  the  beginning  presupposes  the  end  almost 
as  much  as  the  end  presupposes  the  beginning,  and  that 
all  the  earlier  parts  presuppose  the  later  almost  as  much 
as  the  later  presuppose  the  earlier.  I  say  "almost;" 
for  this  is  by  no  means  absolutely  the  case,  and  I  have 
honestly  and  conscientiously  done  all  that  was  possible 
to  give  priority  to  that  which  stands  least  in  need  of 
explanation  from  what  follows,  as  indeed  generally  to 
everything  that  can  help  to  make  the  thought  as  easy 
to  comprehend  and  as  distinct  as  possible.  This  might 
indeed  to  a  certain  extent  be  achieved  if  it  were  not  that 
the  reader,  as  is  very  natural,  thinks,  as  he  reads,  not 
merely  of  what  is  actually  said,  but  also  of  its  possible 
consequences,  and  thus  besides  the  many  contradictions 


PREFACE  TO  THE  FIRST  EDITION.  ix 

actually  given  of  the  opinions  of  the  time,  and  presum- 
ably of  the  reader,  there  may  be  added  as  many  more 
which  are  anticipated  and  imaginary.  That,  then,  which 
is  really  only  misunderstanding,  must  take  the  form  of 
active  disapproval,  and  it  is  all  the  more  difficult  to 
recognise  that  it  is  misunderstanding,  because  although 
the  laboriously-attained  clearness  of  the  explanation  and 
distinctness  of  the  expression  never  leaves  the  immediate 
sense  of  what  is  said  doubtful,  it  cannot  at  the  same 
time  express  its  relations  to  all  that  remains  to  be  said. 
Therefore,  as  we  have  said,  the  first  perusal  demands 
patience,  founded  on  confidence  that  on  a  second  perusal 
much,  or  all,  will  appear  in  an  entirely  different  light. 
Further,  the  earnest  endeavour  to  be  more  completely 
and  even  more  easily  comprehended  in  the  case  of  a 
very  difficult  subject,  must  justify  occasional  repetition. 
Indeed  the  structure  of  the  whole,  which  is  organic,  not 
a  mere  chain,  makes  it  necessary  sometimes  to  touch  on 
the  same  point  twice.  Moreover  this  construction,  and 
the  very  close  connection  of  all  the  parts,  has  not  left 
open  to  me  the  division  into  chapters  and  paragraphs 
which  I  should  otherwise  have  regarded  as  very  im- 
portant, but  has  obliged  me  to  rest  satisfied  with  four 
principal  divisions,  as  it  were  four  aspects  of  one  thought. 
In  each  of  these  four  books  it  is  especially  important  to 
guard  against  losing  sight,  in  the  details  which  must 
necessarily  be  discussed,  of  the  principal  thought  to 
which  they  belong,  and  the  progress  of  the  whole  exposi- 
tion. I  have  thus  expressed  the  first,  and  like  those 
which  follow,  unavoidable  demand  upon  the  reader,  who 
holds  the  philosopher  in  small  favour  just  because  he 
himself  is  a  philosopher. 

The  second  demand  is  this,  that  the  introduction  be 


x  PREFACE  TO  THE  FIRST  EDITION. 

read  before  the  book  itself,  although  it  is  not  contained 
in  the  book,  but  appeared  five  years  earlier  under  the 
title,  "Ueber  die  vierfache  Wurzel  des  Satzes  vom  zurei- 
chenden  Grunde :  eine  philosophische  Abhandlung  "  (On  the 
fourfold  root  of  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason :  a  philo- 
sophical essay).  Without  an  acquaintance  with  this 
introduction  and  propadeutic  it  is  absolutely  impossible 
to  understand  the  present  work  properly,  and  the  content 
of  that  essay  will  always  be  presupposed  in  this  work 
just  as  if  it  were  given  with  it.  Besides,  even  if  it  had 
not  preceded  this  book  by  several  years,  it  would  not 
properly  have  been  placed  before  it  as  an  introduction, 
but  would  have  been  incorporated  in  the  first  book.  As 
it  is,  the  first  book  does  not  contain  what  was  said  in 
the  earlier  essay,  and  it  therefore  exhibits  a  certain 
incompleteness  on  account  of  these  deficiencies,  which 
must  always  be  supplied  by  reference  to  it.  However, 
my  disinclination  was  so  great  either  to  quote  myself  or 
laboriously  to  state  again  in  other  words  what  I  had 
already  said  once  in  an  adequate  manner,  that  I  preferred 
this  course,  notwithstanding  the  fact  that  I  might  now 
be  able  to  give  the  content  of  that  essay  a  somewhat 
better  expression,  chiefly  by  freeing  it  from  several 
conceptions  which  resulted  from  the  excessive  influence 
which  the  Kantian  philosophy  had  over  me  at  the  time, 
such  as — categories,  outer  and  inner  sense,  and  the  like. 
But  even  there  these  conceptions  only  occur  because 
as  yet  I  had  never  really  entered  deeply  into  them,  there- 
fore only  by  the  way  and  quite  out  of  connection  with 
the  principal  matter.  The  correction  of  such  passages  in 
that  essay  will  consequently  take  place  of  its  own  accord 
in  the  mind  of  the  reader  through  his  acquaintance  with 
the  present  work.     But  only  if  we  have  fully  recognised 


PREFACE  TO  THE  FIRST  EDITION.  xi 

by  means  of  that  essay  what  the  principle  of  sufficient 
reason  is  and  signifies,  what  its  validity  extends  to,  and 
what  it  does  not  extend  to,  and  that  that  principle  is  not 
before  all  things,  and  the  whole  world  merely  in  con- 
sequence of  it,  and  in  conformity  to  it,  a  corollary,  as  it 
were,  of  it;  but  rather  that  it  is  merely  the  form  in 
which  the  object,  of  whatever  kind  it  may  be,  which  is 
always  conditioned  by  the  subject,  is  invariably  known 
so  far  as  the  subject  is  a  knowing  individual :  only  then 
will  it  be  possible  to  enter  into  the  method  of  philosophy 
which  is  here  attempted  for  the  first  time,  and  which  is 
completely  different  from  all  previous  methods. 

But  the  same  disinclination  to  repeat  myself  word  for 
word,  or  to  say  the  same  thing  a  second  time  in  other 
and  worse  words,  after  I  have  deprived  myself  of  the 
better,  has  occasioned  another  defect  in  the  first  book  of 
this  work.  For  I  have  omitted  all  that  is  said  in  the 
first  chapter  of  my  essay  "  On  Sight  and  Colour,"  which 
would  otherwise  have  found  its  place  here,  word  for 
word.  Therefore  the  knowledge  of  this  short,  earlier 
work  is  also  presupposed. 

Finally,  the  third  demand  I  have  to  make  on  the 
reader  might  indeed  be  tacitly  assumed,  for  it  is  nothing 
but  an  acquaintance  with  the  most  important j^enomenon 
that  has  app^arejiin.-phUa30phx,l9X JjE2-fefi3S9SA-.jears, 
and  that  lies  so  near  us :  I  mean  the  principal  writings 
of  KafitC  *lt~ieems  to  me,  in  fact,  as  indeed  has  already 
been  said  by  others,  that  the  effect  these  writings  produce 
in  the  mind  to  which  they  truly  speak  is  very  like  that 
of  the  operation  for  cataract  on  a  blind  man :  and  if  we 
wish  to  pursue  the  simile  further,  the  aim  of  my  own 
work  may  be  described  by  saying  that  I  have  sought  to 
put  into  the  hands  of  those  upon  whom  that  operation 


xii  PREFACE  TO  THE  FIRST  EDITION. 

has   been  successfully  performed  a  pair  of   spectacles 
suitable  to  eyes  that  have  recovered  their  sight — spectacles 
of  whose  use  that  operation  is  the  absolutely  necessary 
condition.     Starting  then,  as  I  do  to  a  large  extent,  from 
what  has  been  accomplished  by  the  great  Kant,  I  have 
yet  been  enabled,  just  on  account  of  my  earnest  study  of 
his  writings,  to  discover  important  errors  in  them.    These 
I  have  been  obliged  to  separate  from  the  rest  and  prove 
to  be  false,  in  order  that  I  might  be  able  to  presuppose 
and  apply  what  is  true  and  excellent  in  his  doctrine, 
pure  and  freed  from  error.     But  not  to  interrupt   and 
complicate  my  own  exposition  by  a   constant    polemic 
against  Kant,  I  have  relegated  this  to  a  special  appendix. 
It  follows  then,  from  what  has  been  said,  that  my  work 
presupposes  a  knowledge  of  this  appendix  just  as  much 
as  it  presupposes  a  knowledge  of  the  philosophy  of  Kant ; 
and  in  this  respect  it  would  therefore  be  advisable  to 
read  the  appendix  first,  all  the  more  as  its  content  is 
specially  related  to  the  first  book  of  the  present  work. 
On  the  other  hand,  it  could  not  be  avoided,  from  the 
nature  of  the  case,  that  here  and  there  the  appendix  also 
should  refer  to  the  text  of  the  work;    and   the   only 
result  of  this  is,  that   the    appendix,  as   well  as   the 
principal  part  of  the  work,  must  be  read  twice. 

The  philosophy  of  Kant,  then,  is  the  only  philosophy 
with  which  a  thorough  acquaintance  is  directly  presup- 
posed in  what  we  have  to  say  here.  But  if,  besides  this, 
the  reader  has  lingered  in  the  school  of  the  divine  Plato, 
he  will  be  so  much  the  better  prepared  to  hear  me,  and 
susceptible  to  what  I  say.  And  if,  indeed,  in  addition  to 
this  he  is  a  partaker  of  the  benefit  conferred  by  the 
Vedas,  the  access  to  which,  opened  to  us  through  the 
Upanishads,  is  in  my  eyes  the  greatest  advantage  which 


PREFACE  TO  THE  FIRST  EDITION  xiii 

this  still  young  century  enjoys  over  previous  ones,  be- 
cause I  believe  that  the  influence  of  the  Sanscrit  litera- 
ture will  penetrate  not  less  deeply  than  did  the  revival 
of  Greek  literature  in  the  fifteenth  century:  if,  I  say, 
the  reader  has  also  already  received  and  assimilated  the 
sacred,  primitive  Indian  wisdom,  then  is  he  best  of  all 
prepared  to  hear  what  I  have  to  say  to  him.  My  work 
will  not  speak  to  him,  as  to  many  others,  in  a  strange 
and  even  hostile  tongue ;  for,  if  it  does  not  sound  too  vain, 
I  might  express  the  opinion  that  each  one  of  the  indi- 
vidual and  disconnected  aphorisms  which  make  up  the 
Upanishads  may  be  deduced  as  a  consequence  from  the 
thought  I  am  going  to  impart,  though  the  converse,  that 
my  thought  is  to  be  found  in  the  Upanishads,  is  by  no 
means  the  case. 

But  most  readers  have  already  grown  angry  with  im- 
patience, and  burst  into  reproaches  with  difficulty  kept 
back  so  long.  How  can  I  venture  to  present  a  book  to 
the  public  under  conditions  and  demands  the  first  two 
of  which  are  presumptuous  and  altogether  immodest, 
and  this  at  a  time  when  there  is  such  a  general  wealth 
of  special  ideas,  that  in  Germany  alone  they  are  made 
common  property  through  the  press,  in  three  thousand 
valuable,  original,  and  absolutely  indispensable  works 
every  year,  besides  innumerable  periodicals,  and  even 
daily  papers;  at  a  time  when  especially  there  is  not 
the  least  deficiency  of  entirely  original  and  profound 
philosophers,  but  in  Germany  alone  there  are  more  of 
them  alive  at  the  same  time,  than  several  centuries 
could  formerly  boast  of  in  succession  to  each  other? 
How  is  one  ever  to  come  to  the  end,  asks  the  indignant 
reader,  if  one  must  set  to  work  upon  a  book  in  such  a 
fashion  ? 


xiv  PREFACE  TO  THE  FIRST  EDITION. 

As  I  have  absolutely  nothing  to  advance  against  these 
reproaches,  I  only  hope  for  some  small  thanks  from  such 
readers  for  having  warned  them  in  time,  so  that  they  may 
not  lose  an  hour  over  a  book  which  it  would  be  useless 
to  read  without  complying  with  the  demands  that  have 
been  made,  and  which  should  therefore  be  left  alone, 
particularly  as  apart  from  this  we  might  wager  a  great 
deal  that  it  can  say  nothing  to  them,  but  rather  that  it 
will  always  be  only  pancorum  hominum,  and  must  there- 
fore quietly  and  modestly  wait  for  the  few  whose  unusual 
mode  of  thought  may  find  it  enjoyable.  For  apart  from 
the  difficulties  and  the  effort  which  it  requires  from  the 
reader,  what  cultured  man  of  this  age,  whose  knowledge 
has  almost  reached  the  august  point  at  which  the  paradoxi- 
cal and  the  false  are  all  one  to  it,  could  bear  to  meet  thoughts 
almost  on  every  page  that  directly  contradict  that  which 
he  has  yet  himself  established  once  for  all  as  true  and 
undeniable  ?  And  then,  how  disagreeably  disappointed 
will  many  a  one  be  if  he  finds  no  mention  here  of  what 
he  believes  it  is  precisely  here  he  ought  to  look  for,  be- 
cause his  method  of  speculation  agrees  with  that  of  a 
great  living  philosopher,1  who  has  certainly  written 
pathetic  books,  and  who  only  has  the  trifling  weakness 
that  he  takes  all  he  learned  and  approved  before  his 
fifteenth  year  for  inborn  ideas  of  the  human  mind.  Who 
could  stand  all  this  ?  Therefore  my  advice  is  simply  to 
lay  down  the  book. 

But  I  fear  I  shall  not  escape  even  thus.  The  reader 
who  has  got  as  far  as  the  preface  and  been  stopped  by 
it,  has  bought  the  book  for  cash,  and  asks  how  he  is 
to  be  indemnified.  My  last  refuge  is  now  to  remind 
him  that  he  knows  how  to  make  use  of  a  book  in  several 

1  F.  H.  Jacobi 


PREFACE  TO  THE  FIRST  EDITION.  xv 

ways,  without  exactly  reading  it.  It  may  fill  a  gap  in  his 
library  as  well  as  many  another,  where,  neatly  bound,  it 
will  certainly  look  well.  Or  he  can  lay  it  on  the  toilet- 
table  or  the  tea-table  of  some  learned  lady  friend.  Or, 
finally,  what  certainly  is  best  of  all,  and  I  specially  advise 
it,  he  can  review  it. 

And  now  that  I  have  allowed  myself  the  jest  to 
which  in  this  two-sided  life  hardly  any  page  can  be  too 
serious  to  grant  a  place,  I  part  with  the  book  with  deep 
seriousness,  in  the  sure  hope  that  sooner  or  later  it  will 
reach  those  to  whom  alone  it  can  be  addressed ;  and  for 
the  rest,  patiently  resigned  that  the  same  fate  should,  in 
full  measure,  befall  it,  that  in  all  ages  has,  to  some 
extent,  befallen  all  knowledge,  and  especially  the 
weightiest  knowledge  of  the  truth,  to  which  only  a  brief 
triumph  is  allotted  between  the  two  long  periods  in 
which  it  is  condemned  as  paradoxical  or  disparaged  as 
trivial.  The  former  fate  is  also  wont  to  befall  its  author. 
But  life  is  short,  and  truth  works  far  and  lives  long :  let 
us  speak  the  truth. 

Written  at  Dresden  in  August  1818. 


PKEFACE  TO  THE  SECOND  EDITION. 


Not  to  my  contemporaries,  not  to  my  compatriots — to 
mankind  I  commit  my  now  completed  work  in  the  con- 
fidence that  it  will  not  be  without  value  for  them,  even 
if  this  should  be  late  recognised,  as  is  commonly  the  lot 
of  what  is  good.  For  it  cannot  have  been  for  the  passing 
generation,  engrossed  with  the  delusion  of  the  moment, 
that  my  mind,  almost  against  my  will,  has  uninterruptedly 
stuck  to  its  work  through  the  course  of  a  long  life.  And 
while  the  lapse  of  time  has  not  been  able  to  make  me 
doubt  the  worth  of  my  work,  neither  has  the  lack  of 
sympathy ;  for  I  constantly  saw  the  false  and  the  bad, 
and  finally  the  absurd  and  senseless,1  stand  in  universal 
admiration  and  honour,  and  I  bethought  myself  that  if 
it  were  not  the  case  those  who  are  capable  of  recognising 
the  genuine  and  right  are  so  rare  that  we  may  look 
for  them  in  vain  for  some  twenty  years,  then  those  who 
are  capable  of  producing  it  could  not  be  so  few  that 
their  works  afterwards  form  an  exception  to  the  perish- 
ableness  of  earthly  things ;  and  thus  would  be  lost  the 
reviving  prospect  of  posterity  which  every  one  who  sets 
before  himself  a  high  aim  requires  to  strengthen  him. 

Whoever  seriously  takes  up  and  pursues  an  object  that 
does  not  lead  to  material  advantages,  must  not  count  on 

1  The  Hegelian  Philosophy. 


xviii  PREFACE  TO  THE  SECOND  EDITION. 

the  sympathy  of  his  contemporaries.  For  the  most  part 
he  will  see,  however,  that  in  the  meantime  the  superficial 
aspect  of  that  object  becomes  current  in  the  world,  and 
enjoys  its  day ;  and  this  is  as  it  should  be.  The  object 
itself  must  be  pursued  for  its  own  sake,  otherwise  it 
cannot  be  attained ;  for  any  design  or  intention  is  always 
dangerous  to  insight.  Accordingly,  as  the  whole  history 
of  literature  proves,  everything  of  real  value  required  a 
long  time  to  gain  acceptance,  especially  if  it  belonged  to 
the  class  of  instructive,  not  entertaining,  works;  and 
meanwhile  the  false  nourished.  For  to  combine  the 
object  with  its  superficial  appearance  is  difficult,  when  it 
is  not  impossible.  Indeed  that  is  just  the  curse  of  this 
world  of  want  and  need,  that  everything  must  serve  and 
slave  for  these;  and  therefore  it  is  not  so  constituted 
that  any  noble  and  sublime  effort,  like  the  endeavour 
after  light  and  truth,  can  prosper  unhindered  and  exist 
for  its  own  sake.  But  even  if  such  an  endeavour  has 
once  succeeded  in  asserting  itself,  and  the  conception  of 
it  has  thus  been  introduced,  material  interests  and  per- 
sonal aims  will  immediately  take  possession  of  it,  in 
order  to  make  it  their  tool  or  their  mask.  Accordingly, 
when  Kant  brought  philosophy  again  into  repute,  it  had 
soon  to  become  the  tool  of  political  aims  from  above,  and 
personal  aims  from  below  ;  although,  strictly  speaking, 
not  philosophy  itself,  but  its  ghost,  that  passes  for  it 
This  should  not  really  astonish  us;  for  the  incredibly 
large  majority  of  men  are  by  nature  quite  incapable  of 
any  but  material  aims,  indeed  they  can  conceive  no 
others.  Thus  the  pursuit  of  truth  alone  is  far  too  lofty 
and  eccentric  an  endeavour  for  us  to  expect  all  or  many, 
or  indeed  even  a  few,  faithfully  to  take  part  in.  If 
yet  we  see,  as  for  example  at  present  in  Germany,  a 


PREFACE  TO  THE  SECOND  EDITION.  xix 

remarkable  activity,  a  general  moving,  writing,  and  talk- 
ing with  reference  to  philosophical  subjects,  we  may 
confidently  assume  that,  in  spite  of  solemn  looks  and 
assurances,  only  real,  not  ideal  aims,  are  the  actual 
primum  mobile,  the  concealed  motive  of  such  a  move- 
ment ;  that  it  is  personal,  official,  ecclesiastical,  political, 
in  short,  material  ends  that  are  really  kept  in  view,  and 
consequently  that  mere  party  ends  set  the  pens  of  so  many 
pretended  philosophers  in  such  rapid  motion.  Thus  some 
design  or  intention,  not  the  desire  of  insight,  is  the  guiding 
star  of  these  disturbers  of  the  peace,  and  truth  is  certainly 
the  last  thing  that  is  thought  of  in  the  matter.  It  finds 
no  partisans ;  rather,  it  may  pursue  its  way  as  silently 
and  unheeded  through  such  a  philosophical  riot  as 
through  the  winter  night  of  the  darkest  century  bound 
in  the  rigid  faith  of  the  church,  when  it  was  communicated 
only  to  a  few  alchemists  as  esoteric  learning,  or  entrusted 
it  may  be  only  to  the  parchment.  Indeed  I  might  say 
that  no  time  can  be  more  unfavourable  to  philosophy 
than  that  in  which  it  is  shamefully  misused,  on  the  one 
hand  to  further  political  objects,  on  the  other  as  a  means 
of  livelihood.  Or  is  it  believed  that  somehow,  with  such 
effort  and  such  a  turmoil,  the  truth,  at  which  it  by  no 
means  aims,  will  also  be  brought  to  light  ?  Truth  is  no 
prostitute,  that  throws  herself  away  upon  those  who  do 
not  desire  her ;  she  is  rather  so  coy  a  beauty  that  he  who 
sacrifices  everything  to  her  cannot  even  then  be  sure  of 
her  favour. 

If  Governments  make  philosophy  a  means  of  further- 
ing political  ends,  learned  men  see  in  philosophical  pro- 
fessorships a  trade  that  nourishes  the  outer  man  just  like 
any  other ;  therefore  they  crowd  after  them  in  the  assur- 
ance of  their  good  intentions,  that  is,  the  purpose  of  sub- 


xx  PREFACE  TO  THE  SECOND  EDITION. 

serving  these  ends.  And  they  keep  their  word:  not 
truth,  not  clearness,  not  Plato,  not  Aristotle,  but  the  ends 
they  were  appointed  to  serve  are  their  guiding  star,  and 
become  at  once  the  criterion  of  what  is  true,  valuable, 
and  to  be  respected,  and  of  the  opposites  of  thesa  What- 
ever, therefore,  does  not  answer  these  ends,  even  if  it  were 
the  most  important  and  extraordinary  things  in  their 
department,  is  either  condemned,  or,  when  this  seems 
hazardous,  suppressed  by  being  unanimously  ignored. 
Look  only  at  their  zeal  against  pantheism  ;  will  any  sim- 
pleton believe  that  it  proceeds  from  conviction  ?  And,  in 
general,  how  is  it  possible  that  philosophy,  degraded  to 
the  position  of  a  means  of  making  one's  bread,  can  fail 
to  degenerate  into  sophistry  ?  Just  because  this  is  in- 
fallibly the  case,  and  the  rule,  "  I  sing  the  song  of  him 
whose  bread  I  eat,"  has  always  held  good,  the  making  of 
money  by  philosophy  was  regarded  by  the  ancients  as 
the  characteristic  of  the  sophists.  But  we  have  still  to 
add  this,  that  since  throughout  this  world  nothing  is  to 
be  expected,  can  be  demanded,  or  is  to  be  had  for  gold 
but  mediocrity,  we  must  be  contented  with  it  here  also. 
Consequently  we  see  in  all  the  German  universities  the 
cherished  mediocrity  striving  to  produce  the  philosophy 
which  as  yet  is  not  there  to  produce,  at  its  own  expense 
and  indeed  in  accordance  with  a  predetermined  standard 
and  aim,  a  spectacle  at  which  it  would  be  almost  cruel 
to  mock. 

While  thus  philosophy  has  long  been  obliged  to  serve 
entirely  as  a  means  to  public  ends  on  the  one  side  and 
private  ends  on  the  other,  I  have  pursued  the  course  of 
my  thought,  undisturbed  by  them,  for  more  than  thirty 
years,  and  simply  because  I  was  obliged  to  do  so  and 
could  not  help  myself,  from  an  instinctive  impulse,  which 


PREFACE  TO  THE  SECOND  EDITION.  xxi 

was,  however,  supported  by  the  confidence  that  anything 
true  one  may  have  thought,  and  anything  obscure  one 
may  have  thrown  light  upon,  will  appeal  to  any  think- 
ing mind,  no  matter  when  it  comprehends  it,  and  will 
rejoice  and  comfort  it.  To  such  an  one  we  speak  as 
those  who  are  like  us  have  spoken  to  us,  and  have  so 
become  our  comfort  in  the  wilderness  of  this  life.  Mean- 
while the  object  is  pursued  on  its  own  account  and  for  its 
own  sake.  Now  it  happens  curiously  enough  with  philo- 
sophical meditations,  that  precisely  that  which  one  has 
thought  out  and  investigated  for  oneself,  is  afterwards  of 
benefit  to  others ;  not  that,  however,  which  was  originally 
intended  for  others.  The  former  is  confessedly  nearest 
in  character  to  perfect  honesty ;  for  a  man  does  not  seek 
to  deceive  himself,  nor  does  he  offer  himself  empty  husks; 
so  that  all  sophistication  and  all  mere  talk  is  omitted, 
and  consequently  every  sentence  that  is  written  at  once 
repays  the  trouble  of  reading  it.  Thus  my  writings  bear 
the  stamp  of  honesty  and  openness  so  distinctly  on  the 
face  of  them,  that  by  this  alone  they  are  a  glaring  con- 
trast to  those  of  three  celebrated  sophists  of  the  post- 
Kantian  period.  I  am  always  to  be  found  at  the  stand- 
point of  reflection,  i.e.,  rational  deliberation  and  honest 
statement,  never  at  that  of  inspiration,  called  intellectual 
intuition,  or  absolute  thought ;  though,  if  it  received  its 
proper  name,  it  would  be  called  empty  bombast  and  char- 
latanism. Working  then  in  this  spirit,  and  always  see- 
ing the  false  and  bad  in  universal  acceptance,  yea,  bom- 
bast1 and  charlatanism2  in  the  highest  honour,  I  have 
long  renounced  the  approbation  of  my  contemporaries.  It 
is  impossible  that  an  age  which  for  twenty  years  has 
applauded    a   Hegel,    that    intellectual   Caliban,    as   the 

1  Fichte  and  Schelling.  3  Hegel. 


xxii  PREFACE  TO  THE  SECOND  EDITION. 

greatest  of  the  philosophers,  so  loudly  that  it  echoes 
through  the  whole  of  Europe,  could  make  him  who  has 
looked  on  at  that  desirous  of  its  approbation.  It  has  no 
more  crowns  of  honour  to  bestow ;  its  applause  is  pros- 
tituted, and  its  censure  has  no  significance.  That  I  mean 
what  I  say  is  attested  by  the  fact  that  if  I  had  in  any 
way  sought  the  approbation  of  my  contemporaries,  I 
would  have  had  to  strike  out  a  score  of  passages  which 
entirely  contradict  all  their  opinions,  and  indeed  must  in 
part  be  offensive  to  them.  But  I  would  count  it  a  crime 
to  sacrifice  a  single  syllable  to  that  approbation.  My 
guiding  star  has,  in  all  seriousness,  been  truth.  Following 
it,  I  could  first  aspire  only  to  my  own  approbation,  entirely 
averted  from  an  age  deeply  degraded  as  regards  all  higher 
intellectual  efforts,  and  a  national  literature  demoralised 
even  to  the  exceptions,  a  literature  in  which  the  ait  of 
combining  lofty  words  with  paltry  significance  has  reached 
its  height.  I  can  certainly  never  escape  from  the  errors 
and  weaknesses  which,  in  my  case  as  in  every  one  else's, 
necessarily  belong  to  my  nature ;  but  I  will  not  increase 
them  by  unworthy  accommodations. 

As  regards  this  second  edition,  first  of  all  I  am  glad 
to  say  that  after  five  and  twenty  years  I  find  nothing  to 
retract;  so  that  my  fundamental  convictions  have  only 
been  confirmed,  as  far  as  concerns  myself  at  least.  The 
alterations  in  the  first  volume  therefore,  which  contains 
the  whole  text  of  the  first  edition,  nowhere  touch  what 
is  essential.  Sometimes  they  concern  things  of  merely 
secondary  importance,  and  more  often  consist  of  very 
short  explanatory  additions  inserted  here  and  thera 
Only  the  criticism  of  the  Kantian  philosophy  has  re- 
ceived important  corrections  and  large  additions,  for  these 
could  not  be  put  into  a  supplementary  book,  such  as 


PREFACE  TO  THE  SECOND  EDITION.  xxiii 

those  which  are  given  in  the  second  volume,  and  which 
correspond  to  each  of  the  four  books  that  contain  the 
exposition  of  my  own  doctrine.     In  the  case  of  the  latter, 
I  have  chosen  this  form  of  enlarging  and  improving  them, 
because  the  five  and  twenty  years  that  have  passed  since 
they  were  composed  have  produced  so  marked  a  change 
in  my  method  of  exposition  and  in  my  style,  that  it  would 
not  have  done  to  combine  the  content  of  the  second  volume 
with  that  of  the  first,  as  both  must  have  suffered  by  the 
fusion.     I  therefore  give  both  works  separately,  and  in 
the  earlier  exposition,  even  in  many  places  where  I  would 
now  express   myself  quite  differently,  I  have  changed 
nothing,  because  I  desired  to  guard  against  spoiling  the 
work  of  my  earlier  years  through  the  carping  criticism  of 
age.     What  in  this  regard  might  need  correction  will 
correct  itself  in  the  mind  of  the  reader  with  the  help  of 
the  second  volume.     Both  volumes  have,  in  the  full  sense 
of  the  word,  a  supplementary  relation  to  each  other,  so  far 
as  this  rests  on  the  fact  that  one  age  of  human  life  is, 
intellectually,  the  supplement  of  another.     It  will  there- 
fore be  found,  not  only  that  each  volume  contains  what 
the  other  lacks,  but  that  the  merits  of  the  one  consist 
peculiarly  in  that  which  is  wanting  in  the  other.     Thus, 
if  the  first  half  of  my  work  surpasses  the  second  in  what 
can  only  be  supplied  by  the  fire  of  youth  and  the  energy 
of  first  conceptions,  the  second  will  surpass  the  first  by 
the  ripeness  and  complete  elaboration   of  the  thought 
which  can  only  belong  to  the  fruit  of  the  labour  of  a  long 
life.     For  when  I  had  the  strength  originally  to  grasp 
the  fundamental  thought  of  my  system,  to  follow  it  at 
once  into  its  four  branches,  to  return  from  them  to  the 
unity  of  their  origin,  and  then  to  explain  the  whole  dis- 
tinctly, I  could  not  yet  be  in  a  position  to  work  out  all 


xxiv  PREFACE  TO  THE  SECOND  EDITION. 

the  branches  of  the  system  with  the  fulness,  thorough- 
ness, and  elaborateness  which  is  only  reached  by  the 
meditation  of  many  years — meditation  which  is  required 
to  test  and  illustrate  the  system  by  innumerable  facts,  to 
support  it  by  the  most  different  kinds  of  proof,  to  throw 
light  on  it  from  all  sides,  and  then  to  place  the  different 
points  of  view  boldly  in  contrast,  to  separate  thoroughly 
the  multifarious  materials,  and  present  them  in  a  well- 
arranged  whole.  Therefore,  although  it  would,  no  doubt, 
have  been  more  agreeable  to  the  reader  to  have  my  whole 
work  in  one  piece,  instead  of  consisting,  as  it  now  does, 
of  two  halves,  which  must  be  combined  in  using  them,  he 
must  reflect  that  this  would  have  demanded  that  I  should 
accomplish  at  one  period  of  life  what  it  is  only  possible 
to  accomplish  in  two,  for  I  would  have  had  to  possess 
the  qualities  at  one  period  of  life  that  nature  has  divided 
between  two  quite  different  ones.  Hence  the  necessity 
of  presenting  my  work  in  two  halves  supplementary  to 
each  other  may  be  compared  to  the  necessity  in  conse- 
quence of  which  a  chromatic  object-glass,  which  cannot 
be  made  out  of  one  piece,  is  produced  by  joining  together 
a  convex  lens  of  flint  glass  and  a  concave  lens  of  crown 
glass,  the  combined  effect  of  which  is  what  was  sought. 
Yet,  on  the  other  hand,  the  reader  will  find  some  com- 
pensation for  the  inconvenience  of  using  two  volumes  at 
once,  in  the  variety  and  the  relief  which  is  afforded  by 
the  handling  of  the  same  subject,  by  the  same  mind,  in 
the  same  spirit,  but  in  very  different  years.  However,  it 
is  very  advisable  that  those  who  are  not  yet  acquainted 
with  my  philosophy  should  first  of  all  read  the  first 
volume  without  using  the  supplementary  books,  and 
should  make  use  of  these  only  on  a  second  perusal; 
otherwise  it  would  be  too  difficult  for  them  to  grasp  the 


PREFACE  TO  THE  SECOND  EDITION.  xxv 

system  in  its  connection.  For  it  is  only  thus  explained 
in  the  first  volume,  while  the  second  is  devoted  to  a  more 
detailed  investigation  and  a  complete  development  of  the 
individual  doctrines.  Even  those  who  should  not  make 
up  their  minds  to  a  second  reading  of  the  first  volume  had 
hetter  not  read  the  second  volume  till  after  the  first,  and 
then  for  itself,  in  the  ordinary  sequence  of  its  chapters, 
which,  at  any  rate,  stand  in  some  kind  of  connection, 
though  a  somewhat  looser  one,  the  gaps  of  which  they 
will  fully  supply  by  the  recollection  of  the  first  volume, 
if  they  have  thoroughly  comprehended  it.  Besides,  they 
will  find  everywhere  the  reference  to  the  corresponding 
passages  of  the  first  volume,  the  paragraphs  of  which  I 
have  numbered  in  the  second  edition  for  this  purpose, 
though  in  the  first  edition  they  were  only  divided  by 
lines. 

I  have  already  explained  in  the  preface  to  the  first 
edition,  that  my  philosophy  is  founded  on  that  of  Kant, 
and  therefore  presupposes  a  thorough  knowledge  of  it. 
I  repeat  this  here.  For  Kant's  teaching  produces  in  the 
mind  of  every  one  who  has  comprehended  it  a  funda- 
mental change  which  is  so  great  that  it  may  be  regarded 
as  an  intellectual  new-birth.  It  alone  is  able  really  to 
remove  the  inborn  realism  which  proceeds  from  the 
original  character  of  the  intellect,  which  neither  Berkeley 
nor  Malebranche  succeed  in  doing,  for  they  remain  too 
much  in  the  universal,  while  Kant  goes  into  the  parti- 
cular, and  indeed  in  a  way  that  is  quite  unexampled 
both  before  and  after  him,  and  which  has  quite  a  peculiar, 
and,  we  might  say,  immediate  effect  upon  the  mind  in 
consequence  of  which  it  undergoes  a  complete  undecep- 
tion,  and  forthwith  looks  at  all  things  in  another  light. 
Only  in  this  way  can  any  one  become  susceptible  to  the 


xxvi  PREFACE  TO  THE  SECOND  EDITION. 

more  positive  expositions  which  I  have  to  give.     On  the 
other  hand,  he  who  has  not  mastered  the  Kantian  philo- 
sophy, whatever  else  he  may  have  studied,  is,  as  it  were, 
in  a  state  of  innocence ;  that  is  to  say,  he  remains  in  the 
grasp  of  that  natural  and  childish  realism  in  which  we 
are  all  born,  and  which  fits  us  for  everything  possible, 
with  the  single  exception  of  philosophy.     Such  a  man 
then  stands  to  the  man  who  knows  the  Kantian  philo- 
sophy as  a  minor  to  a  man  of  full  age.     That  this  truth 
should  nowadays  sound  paradoxical,  which  would  not 
have  been  the  case  in  the  first  thirty  years  after  the 
appearance  of  the  Critique  of  Reason,  is  due  to  the  fact 
that  a  generation  has  grown  up  that  does  not  know  Kant 
properly,  because  it  has  never  heard  more  of  him  than  a 
hasty,  impatient  lecture,  or  an  account  at  second-hand ; 
and  this  again  is  due  to  the  fact  that  in  consequence  of 
bad  guidance,  this  generation  has  wasted  its  time  with 
the    philosophemes   of  vulgar,   uncalled    men,    or    even 
of  bombastic  sophists,  which  are    unwarrantably   com- 
mended  to  it.      Hence    the   confusion  of   fundamental 
conceptions,  and  in  general  the  unspeakable   crudeness 
and  awkwardness  that  appears  from  under  the  covering 
of  affectation   and   pretentiousness  in  the  philosophical 
attempts  of  the  generation  thus  brought  up.     But  who- 
ever thinks  he  can  learn  Kant's  philosophy  from  the  ex- 
position of  others  makes  a  terrible  mistake.     Nay,  rather 
I  must  earnestly  warn  against  such  accounts,  especially 
the  more  recent  ones ;  and  indeed  in  the  years  just  past 
I  have  met  with  expositions  of  the  Kantian  philosophy 
in  the  writings  of  the  Hegelians  which  actually  reach  the 
incredible.     How  should  the  minds  that  in  the  freshness 
of  youth  have  been  strained  and  ruined  by  the  nonsense 
of  Hegelism,  be  still  capable  of  following  Kant's  profound 


PREFACE  TO  THE  SECOND  EDITION.         xxvii 

investigations  ?  They  are  early  accustomed  to  take  the 
hollowest  jingle  of  words  for  philosophical  thoughts,  the 
most  miserable  sophisms  for  acuteness,  and  silly  conceits 
for  dialectic,  and  their  minds  are  disorganised  through 
the  admission  of  mad  combinations  of  words  to  which 
the  mind  torments  and  exhausts  itself  in  vain  to  attach 
some  thought.  No  Critique  of  Eeason  can  avail  them,  no 
philosophy,  they  need  a  medicina  mentis,  first  as  a  sort  of 
purgative,  un  petit  cours  de  senscommunologie,  and  then  one 
must  further  see  whether,  in  their  case,  there  can  even 
be  any  talk  of  philosophy.  The  Kantian  doctrine  then 
will  be  sought  for  in  vain  anywhere  else  but  in  Kant's 
own  works ;  but  these  are  throughout  instructive,  even 
where  he  errs,  even  where  he  fails.  In  consequence  of 
his  originality,  it  holds  good  of  him  in  the  highest  degree, 
as  indeed  of  all  true  philosophers,  that  one  can  only 
come  to  know  them  from  their  own  works,  not  from  the 
accounts  of  others.  For  the  thoughts  of  any  .extraordi- 
nary intellect  cannot  stand  being  filtered  through  the 
vulgar  mind.  Born  behind  the  broad,  high,  finely-arched 
brow,  from  under  which  shine  beaming  eyes,  they  lose 
all  power  and  life,  and  appear  no  longer  like  themselves, 
when  removed  to  the  narrow  lodging  and  low  roofing  of 
the  confined,  contracted,  thick-walled  skull  from  which 
dull  glances  steal  directed  to  personal  ends.  Indeed  we 
may  say  that  minds  of  this  kind  act  like  an  uneven  glass, 
in  which  everything  is  twisted  and  distorted,  loses  the 
regularity  of  its  beauty,  and  becomes  a  caricature.  Only 
from  their  authors  themselves  can  we  receive  philoso- 
phical thoughts ;  therefore  whoever  feels  himself  drawn 
to  philosophy  must  himself  seek  out  its  immortal  teachers 
in  the  still  sanctuary  of  their  works.  The  principal 
chapters  of  any  one  of  these  true  philosophers  will  afford 


xxviii        PREFACE  TO  THE  SECOND  EDITION. 

a  thousand  times  more  insight  into  their  doctrines  than 
the  heavy  and  distorted  accounts  of  them  that  everyday 
men  produce,  who  are  still  for  the  most  part  deeply  en- 
tangled in  the  fashionable  philosophy  of  the  time,  or  in 
the  sentiments  of  their  own  minds.  But  it  is  astonish- 
ing how  decidedly  the  public  seizes  by  preference  on 
these  expositions  at  second-hand.  It  seems  really  as  if 
elective  affinities  were  at  work  here,  by  virtue  of  which 
the  common  nature  is  drawn  to  its  like,  and  therefore  will 
rather  hear  what  a  great  man  has  said  from  one  of  its 
own  kind.  Perhaps  this  rests  on  the  same  principle  as 
that  of  mutual  instruction,  according  to  which  children 
learn  best  from  children. 

One  word  more  for  the  professors  of  philosophy.     I 
have  always  been  compelled  to  admire  not  merely  the 
sagacity,  the  true  and  fine  tact  with  which,  immediately 
on  its   appearance,  they  recognised  my  philosophy  as 
something  altogether  different  from  and  indeed  dangerous 
to  their  own  attempts,  or,  in  popular  language,  something 
that  would  not  suit  their  turn ;  but  also  the  sure  and 
astute  policy  by  virtue  of  which  they  at  once  discovered 
the  proper  procedure  with  regard  to  it,  the  complete  har- 
mony with  which  they  applied  it,  and  the  persistency 
with  which  they  have  remained  faithful  to  it.     This  pro- 
cedure, which  further  commended  itself  by  the  great  ease 
of  carrying  it  out,  consists,  as  is  well  known,  in  altogether 
ignoring  and  thus  in  secreting — according  to   Goethe's 
malicious  phrase,  which  just  means  the  appropriating  of 
what  is  of  weight  and   significance.     The  efficiency  of 
this  quiet  means  is  increased  by  the  corybantic  shouts 
with  which  those  who  are  at  one  reciprocally  greet  the 
birth  of  their  own  spiritual  children— shouts  which  com- 


PREFACE  TO  THE  SECOND  EDITION.  xxix 

pel  the  public  to  look  and  note  the  air  of  importance 
with  which  they  congratulate  themselves  on  the  event. 
Who  can  mistake  the  object  of  such  proceedings  ?  Is 
there  then  nothing  to  oppose  to  the  maxim,  primum 
vivere,  delude  phUosophari  t  These  gentlemen  desire  to 
live,  and  indeed  to  live  by  philosophy.  To  philosophy 
they  are  assigned  with  their  wives  and  children,  and  in 
spite  of  Petrarch's  povera  e  nuda  vai  filosofia,  they  have 
staked  everything  upon  it.  Now  my  philosophy  is  by 
no  means  so  constituted  that  any  one  can  live  by  it.  It 
lacks  the  first  indispensable  requisite  of  a  well-paid  pro- 
fessional philosophy,  a  speculative  theology,  which — in 
spite  of  the  troublesome  Kant  with  his  Critique  of  Eeason 

should  and  must,  it  is  supposed,  be  the  chief  theme 

of  all  philosophy,  even  if  it  thus  takes  on  itself  the  task 
of  talking  straight  on  of  that  of  which  it  can  know  abso- 
lutely nothing.     Indeed  my  philosophy  does  not  permit 
to  the  professors   the   fiction  they   have   so    cunningly 
devised,  and  which  has  become  so  indispensable  to  them, 
of  a  reason  that  knows,  perceives,  or  apprehends  imme- 
diately and  absolutely.     This  is  a  doctrine  which  it  is  only 
necessary  to  impose  upon  the  reader  at  starting,  in  order 
to  pass  in  the  most  comfortable  manner  in  the  world,  as 
it  were  in  a  chariot  and  four,  into  that  region  beyond 
the  possibility  of  all  experience,  which  Kant  has  wholly 
and  for  ever  shut  out  from  our  knowledge,  and  in  which 
are  found  immediately   revealed   and   most   beautifully 
arranged  the  fundamental  dogmas  of  modern,  Judaising, 
optimistic  Christianity.     Now  what  in  the  world  has  my 
subtle  philosophy,  deficient  as  it  is  in  these  essential 
requisites,  with  no  intentional  aim,  and  unable  to  afford 
a  means  of  subsistence,  whose  pole  star  is  truth  alone 


xxx  PREFACE  TO  THE  SECOND  EDITION. 

the  naked,   unrewarded,  unbefriended,  often   persecuted 
truth,  and  which  steers  straight  for  it  without  looking  to 
the  right  hand  or  the  left, — what,  I  say,  has  this  to  do 
with   that  alma  mater,  the  good,  well-to-do   university 
philosophy  which,  burdened  with  a  hundred  aims  and  a 
thousand  motives,  comes  on  its  course  cautiously  tacking, 
while  it  keeps  before  its  eyes  at  all  times  the  fear  of  the 
Lord,  the  will  of  the  ministry,  the  laws  of  the  established 
church,  the  wishes  of  the  publisher,  the  attendance  of  the 
students,  the  goodwill  of  colleagues,  the  course  of  current 
politics,  the  momentary  tendency  of  the  public,  and  Heaven 
knows  what  besides  ?   Or  what  has  my  quiet,  earnest  search 
for  truth  in  common  with  the  noisy  scholastic  disputations 
of  the   chair  and   the   benches,  the  inmost  motives  of 
which   are  always   personal   aims.     The  two   kinds    of 
philosophy  are,  indeed,  radically  different      Thus  it  is 
that  with  me  there  is  no  compromise  and  no  fellowship, 
that  no  one  reaps  any  benefit  from  my  works  but  the 
man  who  seeks  the  truth  alone,  and  therefore  none  of  the 
philosophical  parties  of  the  day ;  for  they  all  follow  their 
own  aims,  while  I  have  only  insight  into  truth  to  offer, 
which  suits  none  of  these  aims,  because  it  is  not  modelled 
after  any  of  them.      If  my  philosophy  is  to   become 
susceptible   of   professorial  exposition,   the  times   must 
entirely  change.     What  a  pretty  thing  it  would  be  if  a 
philosophy  by  which  nobody  could  live  were  to  gain  for 
itself  light  and   air,  not   to  speak  of  the  general  ear! 
This  must  be  guarded  against,  and  all  must  oppose  it  as 
one  man.     But  it  is  not  just  such  an  easy  game  to  con- 
trovert and  refute ;  and,  moreover,  these  are  mistaken 
means  to  employ,  because  they  just  direct  the  attention 
of  the  public  to  the  matter,  and  its  taste  for  the  lucubra- 


PREFACE  TO  THE  SECOND  EDITION.  xxxi 

tions  of  the  professors  of  philosophy  might  be  destroyed 
by  the  perusal  of  my  writings.     For  whoever  has  tasted 
of  earnest  will  not  relish  jest,  especially  when  it  is  tire- 
some.    Therefore    the    silent    system,    so    unanimously 
adopted,  is  the  only  right  one,  and  I  can   only  advise 
them  to  stick  to  it  and  go  on  with  it  as  long  as  it  will 
answer,  that  is,  until  to  ignore  is  taken  to  imply  ignor- 
ance ;  then  there  will  just  be  time  to  turn  back.     Mean- 
while it  remains  open  to  every  one  to  pluck  out  a  small 
feather  here  and  there  for  his  own  use,  for  the  superfluity 
of  thoughts  at  home  should  not  be  very  oppressive.    Thus 
the  ignoring  and  silent  system  may  hold  out  a  good 
while,  at  least  the  span  of  time  I  may  have  yet  to  live, 
whereby  much  is  already  won.     And  if,  in  the  mean- 
time, here  and  there  an  indiscreet  voice  has  let  itself  be 
heard,  it  is  soon  drowned  by  the  loud  talking  of  the  pro- 
fessors, who,  with  important  airs,  know  how  to  entertain 
the  public  with  very  different  things.     I  advise,  how- 
ever, that  the  unanimity  of  procedure  should  be  some- 
what  more    strictly   observed,  and  especially  that  the 
young  men  should  be  looked  after,  for  they  are  sometimes 
so  fearfully  indiscreet.     For  even  so  I  cannot  guarantee 
that  the  commended  procedure  will  last  for  ever,  and 
cannot  answer  for  the  final  issue.     It  is  a  nice  question 
as  to  the  steering  of  the  public,  which,  on  the  whole,  is 
good  and  tractable.    Although  we  nearly  at  all  times  see 
the  Gorgiases  and  the  Hippiases  uppermost,  although  the 
absurd,  as  a  rule,  predominates,  and  it  seems  impossible 
that  the  voice   of    the   individual    can    ever   penetrate 
through  the  chorus  of  the  befooling  and  the  befooled, 
there  yet  remains  to  the  genuine  works  of  every  age  a 
quite  peculiar,  silent,  slow,  and  powerful  influence ;  and, 


xxxii         PREFACE  TO  THE  SECOND  EDITION. 

as  if  by  a  miracle,  we  see  them  rise  at  last  out  of  the 
turmoil  like  a  balloon  that  floats  up  out  of  the  thick 
atmosphere  of  this  globe  into  purer  regions,  where,  hav- 
ing once  arrived,  it  remains  at  rest,  and  no  one  can  draw 
it  down  again. 


Written  at  Frankfort-on-thc- Maine 
in  February  1 844. 


jFirst  Booft, 

THE    WORLD   AS   IDEA. 


FIRST  ASPECT. 

THE   IDEA   SUBORDINATED   TO   THE   PRINCIPLE   OP   SUFFICIENT 
REASON  :    THE  OBJECT  OP  EXPERIENCE  AND  SCIENCE. 

Sors  de  l'enfance,  ami  reveille  toi ! 

— Jean  Jacques  Rousseau. 


VOL.  I. 


§  I.  "  The  world  is  my  idea : "  —  this  is  a  truth 
which  holds  good  for  everything  that  lives  and  knows, 
though  man  alone  can  bring  it  into  reflective  and  abstract 
consciousness.  If  he  really  does  this,  he  has  attained  to 
philosophical  wisdom.  It  then  becomes  clear  and  certain 
to  him  that  what  he  knows  is  not  a  sun  and  an  earth, 
but  only  an  eye  that  sees  a  sun^  a  hand  that  feels  an 
earth ;  that  the  world  which  surrounds  him  is  there  only 
as  idea,  i.e.,  only  in  relation  to  something  else,  the  con- 
sciousness, which  is  himself.  If  any  truth  can  be  asserted 
a  priori,  it  is  this :  for  it  is  the  expression  of  the  most 
general  form  of  all  possible  and  thinkable  experience: 
a  form  which  is  more  general  than  time,  or  space,  or 
causality,  for  they  all  presuppose  it;  and  each  of  these, 
which  we  have  seen  to  be  just  so  many  modes  of  the 
principle  of  sufficient  reason,  is  valid  only  for  a  particular 
class  of  ideas ;  whereas  the  antithesis  of  object  and 
subject  is  the  common  form  of  all  these  classes,  is  that 
form  under  which  alone  any  idea  of  whatever  kind  it 
may  be,  abstract  or  intuitive,  pure  or  empirical,  is  possible 
and  thinkable.  HP- truth  therefore  is  more  certain,  more 
independent,  of  all  others,  and  less  in  need  of  proof  than 
this,  that  J  all  that  exists  for  knowledge,  and  therefore 
this  whole  world,  is  only  object  in  relation  to  subject, 
perception  of  a  perceiver,  in  a  word,  idea.  This  is 
obviously  true  of  the  past  and  the  future,  as  well  as  of 
the  present,  of  what  is  farthest  off,  as  of  what  is  near ;  j 
for  it  is  true  of  time  and  space  themselves,  in  which  | 
alone   these   distinctions   arise.      All   that  in   any  way 


4  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

belongs  or  can  belong  to  the  world  is  inevitably  thus 
conditioned  through  the  subject,  and  exists  only  for  the 
subject.     The  world  is  ide%j. 

This  truth  is  by  no  means  new.  It  was  implicitly 
involved  in  the  sceptical  reflections  from  which  Descartes 
started.  Berkeley,  however,  was  the  first  who  distinctly 
enunciated  it,  and  by  this  he  has  rendered  a  permanent 
service  to  philosophy,  even  though  the  rest  of  his  teaching 
should  not  endure.  Kant's  primary  mistake  was  the 
neglect  of  this  principle,  as  is  shown  in  the  appendix. 
How  early  again  this  truth  was  recognised  by  the  wise 
men  of  India,  appearing  indeed  as  the  fundamental  tenet 
of  the  Vedaiita  philosophy  ascribed  to  Vyasa,  is  pointed 
out  by  Sir  William  Jones  in  the  last  of  his  essays :  "  On 
the  philosophy  of  the  Asiatics  "  (Asiatic  Eesearches,  voL 
iv.  p.  1 64),  where  he  says,  "  The  fundamental  tenet  of 
the  Vedanta  school  consisted  not  in  denying  the  exist- 
ence of  matter,  that  is,  of  solidity,  impenetrability,  and 
extended  figure  (to  deny  which  would  be  lunacy),  but  in 
correcting  the  popular  notion  of  it,  and  in  contending 
that  it  has  no  essence  independent  of  mental  perception ; 
that  existence  and  perceptibility  are  convertible  terms." 
These  words  adequately  express  the  compatibility  of 
empirical  reality  and  transcendental  ideality. 

In  this  first  book,  then,  we  consider  the  world  only 
from  this  side,  only  so  far  as  it  is  idea.  The  inward 
reluctance  with  which  any  one  accepts  the  world  as 
merely  his  idea,  warns  him  that  this  view  of  it,  however 
true  it  may  be,  is  nevertheless  one-sided,  adopted  in 
consequence  of  some  arbitrary  abstraction.  And  yet  it 
is  a  conception  from  which  he  can  never  free  himsel£ 
The  defectiveness  of  this  view  will  be  corrected  in  the 
next  book  by  means  of  a  truth  which  is  not  so  im- 
mediately certain  as  that  from  which  we  start  here ;  a 
truth  at  which  we  can  arrive  only  by  deeper  research 
and  more  severe  abstraction,  by  the  separation  of  what 
is  different  and   the  union  of  what  is  identical.     This 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  5 

truth,  which  must  be  very  serious  and  impressive  if  not 
awful  to  every  one,  is  that  a  man  can  also  say  and  must 
say,  "  the  world  is  my  will." 

In  this  book,  however,  we  must  consider  separately 
that  aspect  of  the  world  from  which  we  start,  its  aspect 
as  knowable,  and  therefore,  in  the  meantime,  we  must, 
without  reserve,  regard  all  presented  objects,  even  our 
own  bodies  (as  we  shall  presently  show  more  fully), 
merely  as  ideas,  and  call  them  merely  ideas.  By  so 
,  doing  we  always  abstract  from  will  (as  we  hope  to  make 
clear  to  every  one  further  on),  which  by  itself  constitutes 
the  other  aspect  of  the  world.  For  as  the  world  is  in 
one  aspect  entirely  idea,  so  in  another  it  is  entirely  will. 
A  reality  which  is  neither  of  these  two,  but  an  object  in 
itself  (into  which  the  thing  in  itself  has  unfortunately 
dwindled  in  the  hands  of  Kant),  is  the  phantom  of  a 
dream,  and  its  acceptance  is  an  ignis  fatuus  in  philo- 
sophy. 

§  2.  That  which  knows  all  things  and  is  known  by 

none  is  the  subject.     Thus  it  is  the  supporter  of  the 

world,  that  condition  of  all   phenomena,  of  all  objects 

which  is  always  pre- supposed  throughout  experience ;  for 

all  that  exists,  exists  only  for  the  subject.     Every  one 

finds  himself  to   be  subject,   yet  only  in  so   far  as  he 

knows,  not  in  so  far  as  he  is  an  object  of  knowledge. 

But  his  body  is  object,  and  therefore  from  this  point  of 

view  we  call  it  idea.     For  the  body  is  an  object  among 

objects,  and  is  conditioned  by  the  laws  of  objects,  although 

it  is  an  immediate  object.     Like  all  objects  of  perception, 

;  it  lies  within  the  universal  forms  of  knowledge,  time  and 

!  space,   which   are  the   conditions  of  multiplicity.     The 

1  subject,  on  the  contrary,  which  is  always  the  knower, 

never  the  known,  does  not  come  under  these  forms,  but 

is  presupposed  by  them  ;  it  has  therefore  neither  niulti- 

yplicity  nor  its  opposite  unity.     We  never  know  it,  but  it  \ 

R  is  always  the  knower  wherever  there  is  knowledge. 

So  then  the  world  as  idea,  the  only  aspect  in  which 


6  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

we  consider  it  at  present,  has  two  fundamental,  necessary, 
and  inseparable  halves.     The  one  half  is  the  object,  the 
forms  of  which  are  space  and  time,  and  through  these 
multiplicity.     The  other  half  is  the  subject,  which  is  not 
in  space  and  time,  for  it  is  present,  entire  and  undivided, 
in  every  percipient  being.     So  that  any  one  percipient 
/     being,  with  the  object,  constitutes  the  whole  world  as 
idea  just  as  fully  as  the  existing  millions  could  do ;  but 
if  this  one  were  to  disappear,  then  the  whole  world  as 
idea  would  cease  to  be.     These  halves  are  therefore  in- 
separable even  for  thought,  for  each  of  the  two  has 
meaning  and  existence  only  through  and  for  the  other, 
each  appears  with  the  other  and  vanishes  with  it     They 
limit  each  other  immediately ;  where  the  object  begins 
the  subject  ends.     The  universality  of  this  limitation  is 
shown  by  the  fact  tnatthe  essential  and  hence  universal 
forms  of  all  objects,  space,  time,   and  causality,  may, 
without  knowledge  of  the  object,  be  discovered  and  fully 
known  from  a  consideration  of  the  subject,  ie.,  in  Kan- 
tian language,  they  lie   a  priori  in  our  consciousness. 
That  he  discovered  this  is  one  of  Kant's  principal  merits, 
and  it  is  a  great  one.     I  however  go  beyond  this,  and 
•maintain  that  the  principIeT'of  sufficient  reason  is  the 
general  expression  for  all  these  forms  of  the  object  of 
which  we  are  a  priori  conscious ;  and  that  therefore  all 
that  we  know  purely  a  priori,  is  merely  the  content  of 
that  principle  and  what  follows  from  it;  in  it  all  our 
certain  a  priori  knowledge  is  expressed.     In  my  essay  on 
the  principle  of  sufficient  reason  I  have  shown  in  detail 
how  every  possible  object  comes  under  it ;  that  is,  stands 
in  a  necessary  relation  to  other  objects,  on  the  one  side 
as  determined,  on  the  other  side  as  determining :  this  is 
of  such  wide  application,  that  the  whole  existence  of  all 
objects,   so  far  as  they  are  objects,  ideas  and  nothing 
more,  may  be   entirely  traced   to  this  their  necessary 
relation  to  each  other,  rests  only  in  it,  is  in  fact  merely 
relative;  but  of  this  more  presently.     I  have  further 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  7 

shown,  that  the  necessary  relation  which  the  principle 
of  sufficient  reason  expresses  generally,  appears  in  other 
forms  corresponding  to  the  classes  into  which  objects  are 
divided,  according  to  their  possibility ;  and  again  that  by 
these  forms  the  proper  division  of  the  classes  is  tested. 
I  take  it  for  granted  that  what  I  said  in  this  earlier 
essay  is  known  and  present  to  the  reader,  for  if  it  had 
not  been  alreaay  said  it  would  necessarily  find  its  place 
here. 

§  3.  The  chief  distinction  among  our  ideas  is  that 
between  ideas  of  perception  and  abstract  ideas.  The 
latter  form  just  one  class  of  ideas,  namely  concepts,  and 
these  are  the  possession  of  man  alone  of  all  creatures 
upon  earth.  The  capacity  for  these,  which  distinguishes 
him  from  all  the  lower  animals,  has  always  been  called 
reason.1  We  shall  consider  these  abstract  ideas  by 
themselves  later,  but,  in  the  first  place,  we  shall  speak 
exclusively  of  the  ideas  of  perception.  These  comprehend 
the  whole  visible  world,  or  the  sum  total  of  experience, 
with  the  conditions  of  its  possibility.  We  have  already 
observed  that  it  is  a  highly  important  discovery  of  Kant's, 
that  these  very  conditions,  these  forms  of  the  visible  world, 
i.e.t  the  absolutely  universal  element  in  its  perception, 
the  common  property  of  all  its  phenomena,  space  and  time, 
even  when  taken  by  themselves  and  apart  from  their  con- 
tent, can,  not  only  be  thought  in  the  abstract,  but  also 
be  directly  perceived ;  and  that  this  perception  or  intuition 
is  not  some  kind  of  phantasm  arising  from  constant  re- 
currence in  experience,  but  is  so  entirely  independent  of 
experience  that  we  must  rather  regard  the  latter  as  de- 
pendent on  it,  inasmuch  as  the  qualities  of  space  and 
time,  as  they  are  known  in  a  priori  perception  or  intui* 
tion,  are  valid  for  all  possible  experience,  as  rules  to 
which  it  must  invariably  conform.     Accordingly,  in  my 

1  Kant  is   the  only  writer    who  my  "  Grundprobleme  der  Ethik "  : 

has    confused  this   idea  of    reason,  Grundl.  dd.  Moral.  §6,  pp.  148-154, 

and  in  this  connection  I  refer    the  first  and  second  editions, 
reader  to  the  Appendix,  and  also  to 


8  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

essay  on  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason,  I  have  treated 
space  and  time,  because  they  are  perceived  as  pure  and 
empty  of  content,  as  a  special  and  independent  class  of 
ideas.  This  quality  of  the  universal  forms  of  intuition, 
which  was  discovered  by  Kant,  that  they  may  be  per- 
ceived in  themselves  and  apart  from  experience,  and  that 
they  may  be  known  as  exhibiting  those  laws  on  which  is 
founded  the  infallible  science  of  mathematics,  is  certainly 
very  important.  JNpt  less  worthy  of  remark,  however,  is 
this  other  quality  of  time  and  space,  that  the  principle  of 
sufficient  reason,  which  conditions  experience  as  the  law 
of  causation  and  of  motive,  and  thought  as  the  law  of  the 
basis  of  judgment,  appears  here  in  quite  a  special  form, 
to  which  I  have  given  the  name  of  the  ground  of  being. 
In  time,  this  is  the  succession  of  its  moments,  and  in 
space  the  position  of  its  parts,  which  reciprocally  deter- 
mine each  other  ad  infinitum. 

Any  one  who  has  fully  understood  from  the  introduc- 
tory essay  the  complete  identity  of  the  content  of  the 
principle  of  sufficient  reason  in  all  its  different  forms, 
must  also  be  convinced  of  the  importance  of  the  know- 
ledge of  the  simplest  of  these  forms,  as  affording  him 
insight  into  his  own  inmost  nature.  This  simplest  form 
of  the  principle  we  have  found  to  be  time.  In  it  each 
instant  is,  only  in  so  far  as  it  has  effaced  the  preceding 
one,  its  generator,  to  be  itself  in  turn  as  quickly  effaced. 
The  past  and  the  future  (considered  apart  from  the  con- 
sequences of  their  content)  are  empty  as  a  dream,  and  the 
present  is  only  the  indivisible  and  uuenduring  boundary 
between  them.  And  in  all  the  other  forms  of  the  prin- 
ciple of  sufficientr&ason,  we  shall  find  the  same  empti- 
ness, and  shall  see  that  not  time  only  but  also  space,  and 
the  whole  content  of  both  of  them,  i.e.,  all  that  proceeds 
from  causes  and  motives,  has  a  merely  relative  existence, 
is  only  through  and  for  another  like  to  itself,  i.e.,  not 
more  enduring.  The  substance  of  this  doctrine  is  old : 
it  appears   in   Heraclitus  when  he   laments  the  eternal 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  g 

flux  of  things ;  in  Plato  when  he  degrades  the  object  to 
that  which  is  ever  becoming,  but  never  being ;  in  Spinoza 
as  the  doctrine  of  the  mere  accidents  of  the  one  sub- 
stance which  is  and  endures.  Kant  opposes  what  is 
thus  known  as  the  mere  phenomenon  to  the  thing  in  it- 
self. Lastly,  the  ancient  wisdom  of  the  Indian  philoso- 
phers declares,  "  It  is  Maya,  the  veil  of  deception,  which 
blinds  the  eyes  of  mortals,  and  makes  them  behold  a 
world  of  which  they  cannot  say  either  that  it  is  or  that  it 
is  not :  for  it  is  like  a  dream ;  it  is  like  the  sunshine 
on  the  sand  which  the  traveller  takes  from  afar  for 
water,  or  the  stray  piece  of  rope  he  mistakes  for  a  snake." 
(These  similes  are  repeated  in  innumerable  passages  of 
the  Vedas  and  the  Puranas.)  But  what  all  these  mean, 
and  that  of  which  they  all  speak,  is  nothing  more  than 
what  we  have  just  considered — the  world  as  idea  subject 
to  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason. 

§  4.  Whoever  has  recognised  the  form  of  the  principle 
of  sufficient  reason,  which  appears  in  pure  time  as  such, 
and  on  which  all  counting  and  arithmetical  calculation 
rests,  has  completely  mastered  the  nature  of  time.  JHsue_ 
\J  is  nothing  more  than  that  form  of  the  principle  of  suffi- 
cient reason,  and  has  no  further  significance.  Succession 
is  the  form  of  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason  in  time, 
and  succession  is  the  whole  nature  of  time.  Further, 
whoever  has  recognised  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason 
as  it  appears  in  the  presentation  of  pure  space,  has 
exhausted  the  whole  nature  of  space,  which  is  absolutely 
nothing  more  than  that  possibility  of  the  reciprocal  deter- 
mination of  its  parts  by  each  other,  which  is  called  posi- 
tion. The  detailed  treatment  of  this,  and  the  formulation 
in  abstract  conceptions  of  the  results  which  flow  from 
it,  so  that  they  may  be  more  conveniently  used,  is  the 
subject  of  the  science  of  geometry.  Thus  also,  whoever 
has  recognised  the  law  of  causation^  the'- aspect  of  the 
principle  of  sufficient  reason  which  appears  in  what  fills 
these  forms  (space  and  time)  as  objects  of  perception, 


x 


IO  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA, 


that  is  to  say  matter,  has  completely  mastered  the  nature 
of  matter  as  such,  for  matter  is  nothing  more  than  causa- 
tion, as  any  one  will  see  at  once  if  he  reflects.     Its  true 
S  being  is  its  action,  nor  can  we  possibly  conceive  it  as 
having  any  other  meaning.     Only  as  active  does  it  fill 
space  and  time;  its  action  upon  the  immediate  object 
(which  is  itself  matter)  determines  that  perception  in 
which  alone  it  exists.     The  consequence  of  the  action  of 
any  material  object  upon  any  other,  is  known  only  in  so 
far  as  the  latter  acts  upon  the  immediate  object  in  a 
different  way  from  that  in  which  it  acted  before;  it 
consists  only  of  this.     Cause  and  effect  thus  constitute 
the  whole  nature  of  matter ;  its  true  being  is  its  action. 
(A  fuller  treatment  of  this  will  be  found  in  the  essay  on 
the  Principle  of  Sufficient  Keason,  §  21,  p.  77.)     The 
nature  of  all  material  things  is   therefore   very  appro- 
priately called  in  German  WirUichUit}  a  word  which  is 
far  more  expressive  than  Healitdt.     Again,  that  which  is 
acted  upon  is  always  matter,  and  thus  the  whole  being 
and  essence  of  matter  consists   in   the  orderly  change, 
which  one  part  of  it  brings  about  in  another  part.     The 
existence  of  matter  is  therefore  entirely  relative,  accord- 
ing to  a  relation  which  is  valid  only  within  its  limits,  as 
in  the  case  of  time  and  space. 

But  time  and  space,  each  for  itself,  can  be  mentally 
presented  apart  from  matter,  whereas  matter  cannot  be 
so  presented  apart  from  time  and  space.  The  form 
which  is  inseparable  from  it  presupposes  space,  and  the 
action  in  which  its  very  existence  consists,  always  im- 
ports some  change,  in  other  words  a  determination  in 
time.  But  space  and  time  are  not  only,  each  for  itself, 
presupposed  by  matter,  but  a  union  of  the  two  constitutes 
its  essence,  for  this,  as  we  have  seen,  consists  in  action, 
t.e.,  in  causation.  All  the  innumerable  conceivable 
phenomena  and  conditions  of  things,  might  be  coexistent 

J  Mira  in  quibusdam  rebus  rer-    sermonis  antiqui  qusedam  efficacis- 
borum  propriety  est,  et  consuetude    simis  notis  signat.    Seneca,  epist.  81. 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  II 

in  boundless  space,  without  limiting  each  other,  or  might 
be  successive  in  endless  time  without  interfering  with 
each  other :  thus  a  necessary  relation  of  these  phenomena 
to  each  other,  and  a  law  which  should  regulate  them 
according  to   such  a  relation,  is  by  no  means  needful, 
would  not,  indeed,  be   applicable:  it  therefoiu   follows 
that  in  the  case  of  all  co-existence  in  space  and  change 
in  time,  so  long  as  each  of  these  forms  preserves  for 
itself  its  condition  and  its  course  without  any  connection 
with  the  other,   there   can  be   no  causation,  and  since 
causation  constitutes  the  essential  nature  of  matter,  there 
can  be  no  matter.     But  the  law  of  causation  receives  its 
meaning  and  necessity^only  from  this,  that  the  essence 
of  change  does  not  consist  simply  in  the  mere  variation 
of  things,  but  rather  in  the  fact  that  at  the  same  part  of 
space  there  is  now  one  thing  and  then  another,  and  at  one 
and  the  same  point  of  time  there  is  here  one  thing  and 
there  another:  only  this  reciprocal  limitation   of  space 
and  time  by  each  other  gives  meaning,  and  at  the  same 
time  necessity,  to  a  law,  according  to  which  change  must 
take  place.     What  is  determined  by  the  law  of  causality 
is  therefore  not  merely  a  succession  of  things  in  time, 
but  this  succession  with  reference  to  a  definite  space, 
and  not  merely  existence  of  things  in  a  particular  place, 
but  in  this  place  at  a  different  point  of  time.     Change, 
ie.,  variation  which  takes  place  according  to  the  law  of 
causality,  implies  always  a  determined  part  of  space  and 
a  determined  part  of  time  together  and  in  union.     Thus 
causality  unites  space  with  time.     But  we  found  that 
the  whole  essence  of  matter  consisted  in  action,  i.e.,  in 
causation,  consequently  space   and  time   must  also  be 
united  in  matter,  that  is  to  say,  matter  must  take  to 
itself  at  once  the  distinguishing  qualities  both  of  space 
and  time,  however  much  these  may  be  opposed  to  each 
other,  and  must  unite  in  itself  what  is  impossible  for 
each  of  these  independently,  that  is,  the  fleeting  course 
of  time,   with  the   rigid    unchangeable    perduration   of 


12  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

space :  infinite  divisibility  it  receives  from  both.     It  is 
for  this  reason  that  we  find  that  co-existence,  which 
could  neither  be  in  time  alone,  for  time  has  no  contiguity, 
nor  in  space  alone,  for  space  has  no  before,  after,  or  now, 
is  first  established  through  matter.     But  the  co-existence 
of  many  things  constitutes,  in  fact,  the  essence  of  reality, 
for  through   it  permanence   first  becomes  possible;  for 
permanence  is  only  knowable  in  the  change   of  some- 
thing which  is  present  along  with  what  is  permanent, 
while  on  the  other  hand  it  is  only  because  something 
permanent  is  present  along  with  what  changes,  that  the 
latter  gains  the  special  character  of  change,  i.e.y  the  muta- 
tion of  quality  and  form  in  the  permanence  of  substance, 
that  is  to  say,  in  matter.1     If  the  world  were  in  space 
alone,  it  would  be  rigid  and  immovable,  without  succes- 
sion, without  change,  without  action ;  but  we  know  that 
with  action,  the  idea  of  matter  first  appears.     Again,  if 
the  world  were  in  time  alone,  all  would  be  fleeting,  with- 
out persistence,  without  contiguity,   hence   without  co- 
existence,  and    consequently    without    permanence;    so 
that  in  this  case  also  there  would  be  no  matter.     Only 
through  the  union  of  space  and  time  do  we  reach  matter, 
and  matter  is  the  possibility  of  co-existence,  and,  through 
that,  of  permanence ;  through  permanence  again  matter 
is  the  possibility  of  the  persistence  of  substance  in  the 
change  of  its  states.2     As  matter  consists  in  the  union 
of  space  and  time,  it  bears  throughout  the  stamp  of  both. 
It  manifests  its  origin  in  space,  partly  through  the  form 
which  is  inseparable  from  it,  but  especially  through  its 
persistence  (substance),  the  a  priori  certainty  of  which 
is   therefore  wholly  deducible  from  that  of  space 8  (for 
variation  belongs  to  time  alone,  but  in  it  alone  and  for 
itself  nothing  is  persistent).     Matter  shows  that  it  springs 

1  It  is  shown  in  the  Appendix  space,"  for  motion  consists  simply 

that  matter  and  substance  are  one.  in  the  union  of  space  and  time. 

a  This  shows  the  ground  of  the  »  Not,  as  Kant  holds,  from  the 
Kantian  explanation  of  matter,  that  knowledge  of  time,  as  will  be  ex- 
it is   "  that  which   fe   movable   in  plained  in  the  Appendix. 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  13 

from  time  by  quality  (accidents),  without  which  it  never 
exists,  and  which  is  plainly  always  causality,  action  upon 
other  matter,  and  therefore  change  (a  time  concept).  The 
law  of  this  action,  however,  always  depends  upon  space 
and  time  together,  and  only  thus  obtains  meaning.  The 
regulative  function  of  causality  is  confined  entirely  to 
the  determination  of  what  must  occupy  this  time  and  this 
space.  The  fact  that  we  know  a  priori  the  unalterable 
characteristics  of  matter,  depends  upon  this  derivation  of 
its  essential  nature  from  the  forms  of  our  knowledge  of 
which  we  are  conscious  a  priori.  These  unalterable 
characteristics  are  space- occupation,  i.e.,  impenetrability, 
i.e.,  causal  action,  consequently,  extension,  infinite  divisi- 
bility, persistence,  i.e.,  indestructibility,  and  lastly  mo- 
bility: weight,  on  the  other  hand,  notwithstanding  its 
universality,  must  be  attributed  to  a  posteriori  knowledge, 
although  Kant,  in  his  "  Metaphysical  Introduction  to 
Natural  Philosophy,"  p.  71  (p.  372  of  Kosenkranz's 
edition),  treats  it  as  knowable  a  priori. 

But  as  the  object  in  general  is  only  for  the  subject,  as 
its  idea,  so  every  special  class  of  ideas  is  only  for  an 
equally  special  quality  in  the  subject,  which  is  called  a 
faculty  of  perception.  This  subjective  correlative  of 
time  and  space  in  themselves  as  empty  forms,  has  been 
named  by  Kant  pure  sensibility ;  and  we  may  retain  this 
expression,  as  Kant  was  the  first  to  treat  of  the  subject, 
though  it  is  not  exact,  for  sensibility  presupposes  matter. 
The_  subjective  correlative  of  matter  or  of  causation,  for 
these  two  are  the  same,  is  understanding,  which  is  no- 
thing more  than  this.  To  know  causality  is  its  one 
function,  its  only  power ;  and  it  is  a  great  one,  embracing 
much,  of  manifold  application,  yet  of  unmistakable  iden- 
tity in  all  its  manifestations.  Conversely  all  causation, 
that  is  to  say,  all  matter,  or  the  whole  of  reality,  is  only 
for  the  understanding,  through  the  understanding,  and  in 
the  understanding.  The  first,  simplest,  and  ever-present 
example  of  understanding  is  the  perception  of  the  actual 


1 4  THE  WORLD  A  S  IDEA . 

world.     This  is  throughout  knowledge  of  the  cause  from 
the  effect,  and  therefore  all  perception  is  intellectual 
The  understanding  could  never  arrive  at  this  perception, 
however,  if  some  effect  did  not  become  known  immedi- 
ately, and  thus  serve  as  a  starting-point     But  this  is  the 
affection  of  the  animal  body,    gojar,  then,  the  animal 
body  is  the  immediate  object  of  the  subject ;  the  percep- 
tion of  all  other  objects  becomes  possible   through   it 
The  changes  which  every  animal  body  experiences,  are 
immediately  known,  that  is,  felt;  and  as  these  effects  are 
at  once  referred  to   their  causes,  the  perception  of  the 
latter  as  objects  arises.     This  relation  is  no  conclusion  in 
abstract  conceptions;  it  does  not  arise  from  reflection, 
nor  is  it  arbitrary,  but  immediate,  necessary,  and  certain. 
It  is  the  method  of  knowing  of  the  pure  understanding, 
without  which  there  could  be  no  perception  ;  there  would 
only    remain    a    dull    plant-like   consciousness    of    the 
changes  of  the  immediate  object,  which  would  succeed 
each  other  in  an  utterly  unmeaning  way,  except  in  so 
far  as  they  might  have  a  meaning  for  the  will  either  as 
pain  or  pleasure.     But  as  with  the  rising  of  the  sun  the 
visible  world  appears^  so  at  one  stroke,  the  understand- 
ing, by  means  of  its  one  simple  function,  changes  the 
dull,  meaningless  sensation  into  perception.     What  the 
eye,  the  ear,  or  the  hand  feels,  is  not  perception ;  it  is 
merely  its  data.     By_the  understanding  passing  from  the 
effect  to  the  cause,  the  world  first  appears  as  perception 
extended  in  space,  varying  in  respect  of  form,  persistent 
through  all  time  in  respect  of  matter;  for  the  understand- 
ing unites  space  and  time  in  the  idea  of  matter,  that  is, 
causal  action.     As  the  world  as  idea  exists  only  through 
the  understanding,  so  also  it  exists  only  for  the  under- 
standing.    In  the  first  chapter  of  my  essay  on  "  Light 
and  Colour,"  I  have  already  explained  how  the  under- 
standing constructs  perceptions  out  of  the  data  supplied 
by  the  senses ;  how  by  comparison  of  the  impressions 
which  the  various  senses  receive  from  the  object,  a  child 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  15 

arrives  at  perceptions ;  how  this  alone  affords  the  solu- 
tion of  so  many  phenomena  of  the  senses ;  the  single 
vision  of  two  eyes,  the  double  vision  in  the  case  of  a 
squint,  or  when  we  try  to  look  at  once  at  objects 
which  lie  at  unequal  distances  behind  each  other ;  and 
all  illusion  which  is  produced  by  a  sudden  alteration  in 
the  organs  of  sense.  But  I  have  treated  this  important 
subject  much  more  fully  and  thoroughly  in  the  second 
edition  of  the  essay  on  "  The  Principle  of  Sufficient 
Beason,"  §  21.  All  that  is  said  there  would  find  its 
proper  place  here,  and  would  therefore  have  to  be  said 
again ;  but  as  I  have  almost  as  much  disinclination  to 
quote  myself  as  to  quote  others,  and  as  I  am  unable  to 
explain  the  subject  better  than  it  is  explained  there,  I 
refer  the  reader  to  it,  instead  of  quoting  it,  and  take  for 
granted  that  it  is  known. 

The  process  by  which  children,  and  persons  born 
blind  who  have  been  operated  upon,  learn  to  see,  the 
single  vision  of  the  double  sensation  of  two  eyes,  the 
double  vision  and  double  touch  which  occur  when  the 
organs  of  sense  have  been  displaced  from  their  usual 
position,  the  upright  appearance  of  objects  while  the 
picture  on  the  retina  is  upside  down,  the  attributing  of 
colour  to  the  outward  objects,  whereas  it  is  merely  an 
inner  function,  a  division  through  polarisation,  of  the 
activity  of  the  eye,  and  lastly  the  stereoscope, — -all 
these  are  sure  and  incontrovertible  evidence  that  per- 
ception is  not  merely  of  the  senses,  but  intellectual — 
that  is,  pure  knowledge  through  the  understanding  of  the 
cause  from  the  effect,  and  that,  consequently,  it  pre- 
supposes the  law  of  causality,  in  a  knowledge  of  which 
all  perception — that  is  to  say  all  experience,  by  virtue 
of  its  primary  and  only  possibility,  depends.  The  con- 
trary doctrine  that  the  law  of  causality  results  from 
experience,  which  was  the  scepticism  of  Hume,  is  first 
refuted  by  this.  For  the  independence  of  the  know- 
ledge of  causality  of  all  experience, — that  is,  its  a  priori 


i6  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

character — can  only  be  deduced  from  the  dependence  of 
all  experience  upon  it ;  and  this  deduction  can  only  be 
accomplished  by  proving,  in  the  manner  here  indicated, 
and  explained  in  the  passages  referred  to  above,  that 
the  knowledge  of  causality  is  included  in  perception  in 
general,  to  which  all  experience  belongs,  and  therefore 
in  respect  of  experience  is  completely  a  'priori,  does  not 
presuppose  it,  but  is  presupposed  by  it  as  a  condition. 
This,  however,  cannot  be  deduced  in  the  manner  at- 
tempted by  Kant,  which  I  have  criticised  in  the  essay 
on  "The  Principle  of  Sufficient  Eeason,"  §  23. 

§  5.  It  is  needful  to  guard  against  the  grave  error  of 
supposing  that  because  perception  arises  through  the 
knowledge  of  causality,  the  relation  of  subject  and  object 
is  that  of  cause  and  effect.  For  this  relation  subsists 
only  between  the  immediate  object  and  objects  known 
indirectly,  thus  always  between  objects  alone.  It  is  this 
false  supposition  that  has  given  rise  to  the  foolish  con- 
troversy about  the  reality  of  the  outer  world ;  a  contro- 
versy in  which  dogmatism  and  scepticism  oppose  each 
other,  and  the  former  appears,  now  as  realism,  now  as 
idealism.  Eealism  treats  the  object  as  cause,  and  the 
subject  as  its  effect  The  idealism  of  Fichte  reduces  the 
object  to  the  effect  of  the  subject.  Since  however,  and 
this  cannot  be  too  much  emphasised,  there  is  absolutely 
no  relation  according  to  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason 
between  subject  and  object,  neither  of  these  views  could 
be  proved,  and  therefore  scepticism  attacked  them  both 
with  success.  Now,  just  as  the  law  of  causality  pre- 
cedes perception  an3  experience  as  their  condition,  and 
therefore  cannot  (as  Hume  thought)  be  derived  from 
them,  so  object  and  subject  precede  all  knowledge,  and 
hence  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason  in  general,  as  its 
first  condition ;  for  this  principle  is  merely  the  form  of 
all  objects,  the  whole  nature  and  possibility  of  their 
existence  as  phenomena:  but  the  object  always  pre- 
supposes the  subject;  and  therefore  between  these  two 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  17 

there  can  be  no  relation  of  reason  and  consequent.      My 

7  essay  on  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason  accomplishes 
just  this :  it  explains  the  content  of  that  principle  as  the 
essential  form  of  every  object — that  is  to  say,  as  the 
universal  nature  of  all  objective  existence,  as  something 
which  pertains  to  the  object  as  such ;  but  the  object  as 
such  always  presupposes  the  subject  as  its  necessary 
correlative ;  and  therefore  the  subject  remains  always 
outside  the  province  in  which  the  principle  of  sufficient 
reason  is  valid.  The  controversy  as  to  the  reality  of  the 
outer  world  rests  upon  this  false  extension  of  the  validity 
of  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason  to  the  subject  also, 
and  starting  with  this  mistake  it  can  never  understand 
itself.  On  the  one  side  realistic  dogmatism,  looking 
upon  the  idea  as  the  effect  of  the  object,  desires  to 
separate  these  two,  idea  and  object,  which  are  really  one, 
and  to  assume  a  cause  quite  different  from  the  idea,  an 
object  in  itself,  independent  of  the  subject,  a  thing  which 
is  quite  inconceivable ;  for  even  as  object  it  presupposes 
subject,  and  so  remains  its  idea.  Opposed  to  this  doc- 
trine is  scepticism,  which  makes  the  same  false  pre- 
supposition that  in  the  idea  we  have  only  the  effect, 
never  the  cause,  therefore  never  real  being;  that  we 
always  know  merely  the  action  of  the  object.  But  this 
object,  it  supposes,  may  perhaps  have  no  resemblance 
whatever  to  its  effect,  may  indeed  have  been  quite 
erroneously  received  as  the  cause,  for  the  law  of  causality 
is  first  to  be  gathered  from  experience,  and  the  reality  of 
experience  is  then  made  to  rest  upon  it.  Thus  both  of 
these  views  are  open  to  the  correction,  firstly,  that  object 
and  idea  are  the  same ;  secondly,  that  the  true  being  of 
the  object  of  perception  is  its  action,  that  the  reality  of 
the  thing  consists  in  this,  and  the  demand  for  an  ex- 
istence of  the  object  outside  the  idea  of  the  subject,  and 
also  for  an  essence  of  the  actual  thing  different  from  its 
action,  has  absolutely  no  meaning,  and  is  a  contradiction : 
and  that  the  knowledge  of  the  nature  of  the  effect  of  any 

VOL.  I.  B 


1 8  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

perceived  object,  exhausts  such  an  object  itself,  so  far  as 
it  is  object,  ie.t  idea,  for  beyond  this  there  is  nothing 
more  to  be  known.  §o^far  then,  the  perceived  world  in 
space  and  time,  which  makes  itself  known  as  causation 
alone,  is  entirely  real,  and  is  throughout  simply  what  it 
appears  to  be,  and  it  appears  wholly  and  without  reserve 
as  idea,  bound  together  according  to  the  law  of  causality. 
This  is  its  empirical  reality.  On  the  other  hand,  all 
causality  is  in  the  understanding  alone,  and  for  the 
understanding.  The  whole  actual,  that  is,  active  world 
is  determined  as  such  through  the  understanding,  and 
apart  from  it  is  nothing.  This,  however,  is  not  the  only 
reason  for  altogether  denying  such  a  reality  of  the  outer 
world  as  is  taught  by  the  dogmatist,  who  explains  its 
reality  as  its  independence  of  the  subject.  We  also 
deny  it,  because  no  object  apart  from  a  subject  can  be 
conceived  without  contradiction.  The  whole  world  of 
objects  is  and  remains  idea,  and  therefore  wholly  and  for 
ever  determined  by  the  subject ;  that  is  to  say,  it  has 
transcendental  ideality.  But  it  is  not  therefore  illusion 
or  mere  appearance ;  it  presents  itself  as  that  which  it  is, 
idea,  and  indeed  as  a  series  of  ideas  of  which  the  common 
bond  is  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason.  It  is  accord- 
ing to  its  inmost  meaning  quite  comprehensible  to  the 
healthy  understanding,  and  speaks  a  language  quite 
intelligible  to  it.  To  dispute  about  its  reality  can  only 
occur  to  a  mind  perverted  by  over-subtilty,  and  such 
discussion  always  arises  from  a  false  application  of  the 
principle  of  sufficient  reason,  which  binds  all  ideas 
together  of  whatever  kind  they  may  be,  but  by  no  means 
connects  them  with  the  subject,  nor  yet  with  a  something 
which  is  neither  subject  nor  object,  but  only  the  ground 
of  the  object ;  an  absurdity,  for  only  objects  can  be  and 
always  are  the  ground  of  objects.  If  we  examine  more 
closely  the  source  of  this  question  as  to  the  reality  of  the 
outer  world,  we  find  that  besides  the  false  application 
of  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason  generally  to  what  lies 


PTHE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  19 

beyond  its  province,  a  special  confusion  of  its  forms  is 
also  involved ;  for  that  form  which  it  has  only  in  reference 
to  concepts  or  abstract  ideas,  is  applied  to  perceived 
ideas,  real  objects;  and  a  ground  of  knowing  is  de- 
manded of  objects,  whereas  they  can  have  nothing  but  a 
ground  of  being.  Among  the  abstract  ideas,  the  concepts 
united  in  the  judgment,  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason 
appears  in  such  a  way  that  each  of  these  has  its  worth, 
its  validity,  and  its  whole  existence,  here  called  truth, 
simply  and  solely  through  the  relation  of  the  judgment 
to  something  outside  of  it,  its  ground  of  knowledge,  to 
which  there  must  consequently  always  be  a  return. 
Among  real  objects,  ideas  of  perception,  on  the  other 
hand,  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason  appears  not  as  the 
principle  of  the  ground  of  Jcnowingy  but  of  being,  as  the 
law  of  causality :  every  real  object  has  paid  its  debt  to 
it,  inasmuch  as  it  has  come  to  be,  i.e.,  has  appeared  as 
the  effect  of  a  cause.  The  demand  for  a  ground  of  know- 
ing has  therefore  here  no  application  and  no  meaning, 
but  belongs  to  quite  another  class  of  things.  Thus  the 
world  of  perception  raises  in  the  observer  no  question  or 
doubt  so  long  as  he  remains  in  contact  with  it :  there  is 
here  neither  error  nor  truth,  for  these  are  confined  to 
the  province  of  the  abstract — the  province  of  reflection. 
But  here  the  world  lies  open  for  sense  and  understanding; 
presents  itself  with  naive  truth  as  that  which  it  really 
is — ideas  of  perception  which  develop  themselves  accord- 
ing to  the  law  of  causality. 

So  far  as  we  have  considered  the  question  of  the 
reality  of  the  outer  world,  it  arises  from  a  confusion 
which  amounts  even  to  a  misunderstanding  of  reason 
itself,  and  therefore  thus  far,  the  question  could  be 
answered  only  by  explaining  its  meaning.  After  exami- 
nation of  the  whole  nature  of  the  principle  of  sufficient 
reason,  of  the  relation  of  subject  and  object,  and  the 
special  conditions  of  sense  perception,  the  question  itself 
disappeared  because  it  had  no  longer  any  meaning.    There 


20  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

is,  however,  one  other  possible  origin  of  tin's  question, 
quite  different  from  the  purely  speculative  one  which  we 
have  considered,  a  specially  empirical  origin,  though  the 
question  is  always  raised  from  a  speculative  point  of  view, 
and  in  this  form  it  has  a  much  more  comprehensible  mean- 
ing than  it  had  in  the  first.  We  have  dreams ;  may  not 
our  whole  life  be  a  dream  ?  or  more  exactly  :  is  there  a 
sure  criterion  of  the  distinction  between  dreams  and  reality? 
between  phantasms  and  real  objects  ?  The  assertion  that 
what  is  dreamt  is  less  vivid  and  distinct  than  what  we  ac- 
tually perceive  is  not  to  the  point,  because  no  one  has  ever 
been  able  to  make  a  fair  comparison  of  the  two ;  for  we 
can  only  compare  the  recollection  of  a  dream  with  the 
present  reality.  Kant  answers  the  question  thus  :  "  The 
connection  of  ideas  among  themselves,  according  to  the 
law  of  causality,  constitutes  the  difference  between  real 
life  and  dreams."  But  in  dreams,  as  well  as  in  real  life, 
everything  is  connected  individually  at  any  rate,  in 
accordance  with  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason  in  all 
its  forms,  and  this  connection  is  broken  only  between 
life  and  dreams,  or  between  one  dream  and  another. 
Kant's  answer  therefore  could  only  run  thus : — the  long 
dream  (life)  has  throughout  complete  connection  accord- 
ing to  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason ;  it  has  not  this 
connection,  however,  with  short  dreams,  although  each  of 
these  has  in  itself  the  same  connection:  the  bridge  is 
therefore  broken  between  the  former  and  the  latter,  and 
on  this  account  we  distinguish  them. 

But  to  institute  an  inquiry  according  to  this  criterion, 
as  to  whether  something  was  dreamt  or  seen,  would 
always  be  difficult  and  often  impossible.  For  we  are  by 
no  means  in  a  position  to  trace  link  by  link  the  causal 
connection  between  any  experienced  event  and  the  present 
moment,  but  we  do  not  on  that  account  explain  it  as 
dreamt.  Therefore  in  real  life  we  do  not  commonly 
employ  that  method  of  distinguishing  between  dreams 
and  reality.     The  only  sure  criterion  by  which  to  dis- 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  21 

tinguish  them  is  in  fact  the  entirely  empirical  one  of 
awaking,  through  which  at  any  rate  the  causal  connec- 
tion between  dreamed  events  and  those  of  waking  life,  is 
distinctly  and  sensibly  broken  off.  This  is  strongly 
supported  by  the  remark  of  Hobbes  in  the  second  chapter 
of  Leviathan,  that  we  easily  mistake  dreams  for  reality 
if  we  have  unintentionally  fallen  asleep  without  taking 
off  our  clothes,  and  much  more  so  when  it  also  happens 
that  some  undertaking  or  design  fills  all  our  thoughts, 
and  occupies  our  dreams  as  well  as  our  waking  moments. 
We  then  observe  the  awaking  just  as  little  as  the  falling 
asleep,  dream  and  reality  run  together  and  become  con- 
founded. In  such  a  case  there  is  nothing  for  it  but  the 
application  of  Kant's  criterion ;  but  if,  as  often  happens, 
we  fail  to  establish  by  means  of  this  criterion,  either  the 
existence  of  causal  connection  with  the  present,  or  the 
absence  of  such  connection,  then  it  must  for  ever  remain 
uncertain  whether  an  event  was  dreamt  or  really  hap- 
pened. Here,  in  fact,  the  intimate  relationship  between 
life  and  dreams  is  brought  out  very  clearly,  and  we  need 
not  be  ashamed  to  confess  it,  as  it  has  been  recognised 
and  spoken  of  by  many  great  men.  The  Vedas  and 
Puranas  have  no  better  simile  than  a  dream  for  the 
whole  knowledge  of  the  actual  world,  which  they  call 
the  web  of  Maya,  and  they  use  none  more  frequently. 
Plato  often  says  that  men  live  only  in  a  dream;  the 
philosopher  alone  strives  to  awake  himself.  Pindar 
says  (ii  17.  1 3  5)  :  a  kick  ovap  avdpcoTros  (umbrse  somnium 
homo),  and  Sophocles : — 

*0*u  yu.g  r)[iag  ovdzv  ovras  aKko,  nXvjv 

2/5wa'  oaoiirto  ZuiAtv,  r\  xwpriv  ffuav. — Ajax,  125. 

(Nos  enim,  quicunque  vivimus,  nihil  aliud  esse  comperio 
quam  simulacra  et  levem  umbram.)  Beside  which  most 
worthily  stands  Shakespeare : — 

11  We  are  such  stuff 
As  dreams  are  made  on,  and  our  little  life 
la  rounded  with  a  sleep." — Tempest,  Act  iv.  Sc  I. 


22  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

Lastly,  Calderon  was  so  deeply  impressed  with  this  view 
of  life  that  he  sought  to  embody  it  in  a  kind  of  meta- 
physical drama — "  Life  a  Dream." 

After  these  numerous  quotations  from  the  poets,  per- 
haps I  also  may  be  allowed  to  express  myself  by  a 
metaphor.  Life  and  dreams  are  leaves  of  the  same  book. 
The  systematic  reading  of  this  book  is  real  life,  but  when 
the  reading  hours  (that  is,  the  day)  are  over,  we  often 
continue  idly  to  turn  over  the  leaves,  and  read  a  page 
here  and  there  without  method  or  connection :  often  one 
we  have  read  before,  sometimes  one  that  is  new  to  us, 
but  always  in  the  same  book.  Such  an  isolated  page  is 
indeed  out  of  connection  with  the  systematic  study  of 
the  book,  but  it  does  not  seem  so  very  different  when 
we  remember  that  the  whole  continuous  perusal  begins 
and  ends  just  as  abruptly,  and  may  therefore  be  re- 
garded as  merely  a  larger  single  page. 

Thus  although  individual  dreams  are  distinguished  from 
real  life  by  the  fact  that  they  do  not  fit  into  that  con- 
tinuity which  runs  through  the  whole  of  experience,  and 
the  act  of  awaking  brings  this  into  consciousness,  yet  that 
very  continuity  of  experience  belongs  to  real  life  as  its 
form,  and  the  dream  on  its  part  can  point  to  a  similar 
continuity  in  itself.  If,  therefore,  we  consider  the  ques- 
tion from  a  point  of  view  external  to  both,  there  is  no 
distinct  difference  in  their  nature,  and  we  are  forced  to 
concede  to  the  poets  that  life  is  a  long  dream. 

Let  us  turn  back  now  from  this  quite  independent 
empirical  origin  of  the  question  of  the  reality  of  the  outer 
world,  to  its  speculative  origin.  We^ftnmcl  that  this  con- 
sisted, first,  in  the  false  application  of  the  principle  of 
sufficient  reason  to  the  relation  of  subject  and  object ; 
and  secondly,  in  the  confusion  of  its  forms,  inasmuch 
as  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason  of  knowing  was 
extended  to  a  province  in  which  the  principle  of  suffi- 
cient reason  of  being  is  valid.  But  the  question  could 
hardly  have   occupied  philosophers  so  constantly  if  it 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  23 

were  entirely  devoid  of  all  real  content,  and  if  some  true 
thought  and  meaning  did  not  lie  at  its  heart  as  its  real 
source.  Accordingly,  we  must  assume  that  when  the 
element  of  truth  that  lies  at  the  bottom  of  the  question 
first  came  into  reflection  and  sought  its  expression,  it  be- 
came involved  in  these  confused  and  meaningless  forms 
and  problems.  Jhis  at  least  is  my  opinion,  and  I  think 
that  the  true  expression  of  that  inmost  meaning  of  the 
question,  which  it  failed  to  find,  is  this : — What  is  this 
world  of  perception  besides  being  my  idea  ?  Is  that  of 
which  I  am  conscious  only  as  idea,  exactly  like  my  own 
body,  of  which  I  am  doubly  conscious,  in  one  aspect  as 
idea,  in  another  aspect  as  will  ?  The  fuller  explanation 
of  this  question  and  its  answer  in  the  affirmative,  will 
form  the  content  of  the  second  book,  and  its  consequences 
will  occupy  the  remaining  portion  of  this  work. 

§  6.  For  the  present,  however,  in  this  first  book  we 
consider  everything  merely  as  idea,  as  object  for  the  sub- 
ject. And  our  own  body,  which  is  the  starting-point  for 
each  of  us  in  our  perception  of  the  world,  we  consider, 
like  all  other  real  objects,  from  the  side  of  its  knowable- 
ness,  and  in  this  regard  it  is  simply  an  idea.  Now  the 
consciousness  of  every  one  is  in  general  opposed  to  the 
explanation  of  objects  as  mere  ideas,  and  more  especially 
to  the  explanation  of  our  bodies  as  such  ;  for  the  thing  in 
itself  is  known  to  each  of  us  immediately  in  so  far  as  it 
appears  as  our  own  body ;  but  in  so  far  as  it  objectifies 
itself  in  the  other  objects  of  perception,  it  is  known  only 
indirectly.  But  this  abstraction,  this  one-sided  treat- 
ment, this  forcible  separation  of  what  is  essentially  and 
necessarily  united,  is  only  adopted  to  meet  the  demands 
of  our  argument ;  and  therefore  the  disinclination  to  it 
must,  in  the  meantime,  be  suppressed  and  silenced  by  the 
expectation  that  the  subsequent  treatment  will  correct 
the  one-sidedness  of  the  present  one,  and  complete  our 
knowledge  of  the  nature  of  the  world. 

At  present  therefore  the   body   is  for  us  immediate 


M  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

object;   that   is   to   say,   that    idea    which   forms   the 
starting-point  of  the  subject's  knowledge;  because  the 
body,  with  its  immediately  known  changes,  precedes  the 
application  of  the  law  of  causality,  and  thus  supplies  it 
with  its  lint  data.    The  whole  nature  of  matter  consists 
as  we  have  seen,  in  its  causal  action.     But  cause  and 
effect  exist  only  for  the  understanding,  which  is  nothing  but 
their  subjective  correlative.     The  understanding,  however 
could  never  come  into  operation  if  there  were  not  some- 
thing else  from  which  it  starts.     This  is  simple  sensa- 
tion—the immediate  consciousness  of  the  changes  of  the 
body,  by  virtue  of  which  it  is  immediate  object.     Thus 
the  possibility  of  knowing  the  world  of  perception-de- 
pends upon  two  conditions ;  the  first,  objectively  expressed 
is  the  power  of  material  things  to  act  upon  each  other  to 
produce  changes  in  each  other,  without  which  common 
quality  of  all  hodies  no  perception  would  be  possible 
even  by  means  of  the  sensibility  of  the  animal  body 
And  if  we  wish  to  express  this  condition  subjectively  we 
say  :  The  understanding  first  makes  perception  possible; 
lor  the  law  of  causality,  the  possibility  of  effect  and 
cause,  springs  only  from  the  understanding,  and  is  valid 
only  for  it,  and  therefore  the  world  of  perception  exists 
only  through  and  for  it.     The  second  condition  is  the 
sensibility  of  animal  bodies,  oTthe  quality  of  bein"  im- 
mediate objects  of  the  subject  which  certain  bodies"  pos- 
sess.    The  mere  modification  which  the  organs  of  sense 
sustain  from  without  through  their  specific  affections 
may  here  be  called  ideas,  so  far  as  these  affections  pro- 
duce neither  pain  nor  pleasure,  that  is,  have  no  imme- 
diate significance  for  the  will,  and  are  yet  perceived,  exist 
therefore  only  for  knowledge.     Thus  far,  then,  I  say  that 
the  body  is  immediately  known,  is  immediate  object.     But 
the  conception  of  object  is  not  to  be  taken  here  in  its 
fullest  sense,  for  through  this  immediate  knowledge  of 
the  body,  which  precedes  the  operation  of  the  understand- 
ing, and  is  mere  sensation,  our  own  body  does  not  exist 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  25 

specifically  as  object,  but  first  the  material  things  which 
affect  it :  for  all  knowledge  of  an  object  proper,  of  an  idea 
perceived  in  space,  exists  only  through  and  for  the  under- 
standing ;  therefore  not  before,  but  only  subsequently  to 
its  operation.  Therefore  the  body  as  object  proper,  that 
is,  as  an  idea  perceived  in  space,  is  first  known  indirectly, 
like  all  other  objects,  through  the  application  of  the 
law  of  causality  to  the  action  of  one  of  its  parts  upon 
another,  as,  for  example,  when  the  eye  sees  the  body  or 
the  hand  touches  it.  Consequently  the  form  of  our 
body  does  not  become  known  to  us  through  mere  feel- 
ing, but  only  through  knowledge,  only  in  idea  ;  that  is  to 
say,  only  in  the  brain  does  our  own  body  first  come  to 
appear  as  extended,  articulate,  organic.  A  man  born 
blind  receives  this  idea  only  little  by  little  from  the  data 
afforded  by  touch.  A  blind  man  without  hands  could 
never  come  to  know  his  own  form  ;  or  at  the  most  could 
infer  and  construct  it  little  by  little  from  the  effects  of 
other  bodies  upon  him.  If,  then,  we  call  the  body  an 
immediate  object,  we  are  to  be  understood  with  these 
reservations. 

In  other  respects,  then,  according  to  what  has  been 
said,  all  animal  bodies  are  immediate  objects ;  that  is, 
starting-points  for  the  subject  which  always  knows 
and  therefore  is  never  known  in  its  perception  of  the 
world.  Thus  the  distinctive  characteristic  of  animal 
life  is  knowledge,  with  movement  following  on  motives, 
which  are  determined  by  knowledge,  just  as  movement 
following  on  stimuli  is  the  distinctive  characteristic  of 
plant-life.  Unorganised  matter,  however,  has  no  move- 
ment except  such  as  is  produced  by  causes  properly  so 
called,  using  the  term  in  its  narrowest  sense.  All  this  I 
have  thoroughly  discussed  in  my  essay  on  the  principle 
of  sufficient  reason,  §  20,  in  the  "Ethics,"  first  essay,  iii., 
and  in  my  work  on  Sight  and  Colour,  §  1,  to  which  I 
therefore  refer. 

It  follows  from  what  has  been  said,  that  all  animals. 


20 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 


even  the  least  developed,  have  understanding;  for  they 
all  know   objects,  and  this  knowledge  determines  their 
movements  as  motive.    .Understanding  is  the  same  in  all 
animals  and  in  all  men;    it  has  everywhere  the  same 
simple  form;    knowledge   of  causality,  transition  from 
effect  to  cause,  and  from  cause  to  effect,  nothing  more ; 
but  the  degree  of  its  acuteness,  and  the  extension  of  the 
sphere   of  its   knowledge    varies   enormously,  with  in- 
numerable gradations  from  the  lowest   form,  which  is 
only  conscious  of  the  causal  connection  between  the  im- 
mediate object  and  objects  affecting  it — that  is  to  say, 
perceives  a  cause  as  an  object  in  space  by  passing  to 
it  from  the  affection  which  the  body  feels,  to  the  higher 
grades  of  knowledge  of    the   causal   connection  among 
objects  known  indirectly,  which  extends  to  the  under- 
standing of  the  most  complicated  system  of  cause  and 
effect  in  nature.     For  even  this  high  degree  of  knowledge 
is  still  the  work  of  the  understanding,  not  of  the  reason. 
The  abstract  concepts  of  the  reason  can  only  serve  to 
take  up  the  objective  connections  which  are  immediately 
known  by  the  understanding,  to  make  them  permanent 
for  thought,   and   to   relate   them   to   each   other;    but 
reason   never  gives   us    immediate   knowledge.       Every 
force  and  law  of  nature,  every  example  of  such  forces 
and  laws,  must  first  be  immediately  known  by  the  under- 
standing, must  be  apprehended  through  perception  before 
it  can  pass  into  abstract  consciousness  for  reason.   Hooke's 
discovery  of  the  law  of  gravitation,  and  the  reference  of 
so  many  important  phenomena  to  this  one  law,  was  the 
work  of  immediate  apprehension  by  the  understanding; 
and  such  also  was  the  proof  of  Newton's  calculations,  and 
Lavoisier's  discovery  of  acids  and  their  important  function 
in  nature,  and  also  Goethe's  discovery  of  the  origin  of 
physical  colours.     All  these  discoveries  are  nothing  more 
than  a  correct  immediate  passage  from  the  effect  to  the 
cause,  which  is  at  once  followed  by  the  recognition  of  the 
ideality  of  the  force  of  nature  which  expresses  itself  in  all 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  27 

causes  of  the  same  kind;  and  this  complete  insight  is 
just  an  example  of  that  single  function  of  the  understand- 
ing, by  which  an  animal  perceives  as  an  object  in  space 
the  cause  which  affects  its  body,  and  differs  from  such  a 
perception  only  in   degree.     Every   one   of  these  great 
discoveries  is  therefore,  just  like  perception,  an  operation 
of  the  understanding,  an  immediate  intuition,  and  as  such 
the  work  of  an  instant,  an  appergu,  a  flash  of  insight. 
They  are  not  the  result  of  a  process  of  abstract  reasoning, 
wElch  only  serves  to  make  the  immediate  knowledge  of 
the  understanding  permanent  for  thought  by  bringing  it 
under  abstract  concepts,  i.e.,  it  makes  knowledge  distinct, 
it  puts  us  in  a  position  to  impart  it  and  explain  it  to 
others.     The  keenness  of  the  understanding  in   appre- 
hending the  causal  relations  of  objects  which  are  known 
indirectly,  does  not  find  its  only  application  in  the  sphere 
of  natural  science  (though  all  the   discoveries   in   that 
sphere  are  due  to  it),  but  it  also  appears  in  practical  life. 
It  is  then  called  good  sense  or  prudence,  as  in  its  other 
application  it   is    better    called    acuteness,  penetration, 
sagacity.     More  exactly,  good  sense  or  prudence  signifies 
exclusively  understanding  at  the  command  of  the  will. 
But  the  limits  of   these  conceptions  must  not  be  too 
sharply  defined,  for  it  is  always  that  one  function  of  the 
understanding  by  means  of  which  all  animals  perceive 
objects  in  space,  which,  in  its  keenest  form,  appears  now 
in  the  phenomena  of  nature,  correctly  inferring  the  un- 
known causes  from  the  given  effects,  and  providing  the 
material  from  which  the  reason  frames  general  rules  as 
laws  of  nature ;  now  inventing  complicated  and  ingenious 
machines  by  adapting  known  causes  to  desired  effects  ; 
now  in  the  sphere  of  motives,  seeing  through  and  frus- 
trating intrigues  and  machinations,  or  fitly  disposing  the 
motives  and  the  men  who  are  susceptible  to  them,  setting 
them  in  motion,  as  machines  are  moved  by  levers  and 
wheels,  and  directing  them  at  will  to    the  accomplish- 
ment of  its  ends.     Deficiency  of  understanding  is  called 


28  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

stupidity.  ^   It    is   just   dulncss    in    applying  the  law  of 
causality,  incapacity  for  the  immediate  apprehension  of 
the  concatenations  of  causes   and   effects,  motives  and 
actions.     A  stupid  person  lias  no  insight  into  the  con- 
nection of  natural  phenomena,  either  when  they  follow 
their  own  course,  or  when  they  are  intentionally  com- 
bined, i.e.,  are  applied  to  machinery.     Such  a  man  readily 
believes  in  magic  and  miracles.      A  stupid  man  does  not 
observe  that  persons,  who  apparently  act  independently 
of  each  other,  are  really  in  collusion;    he  is  therefore 
easily  mystified,  and  outwitted ;  he  does  not  discern  the 
hidden  motives  of    proffered    advice    or  expressions   of 
opinion,  &c.     But  it  is  always  just  one  thing  that   he 
lacks— keenness,  rapidity,   ease  in  applying  the  law  of 
causality,    i.e.,   power   of  understanding.      The  greatest, 
and,  in  this  reference,  the  most  instructive  example  of 
stupidity   I   ever   met  with,  was   the  case  of  a  totally 
imbecile  boy  of  about  eleven  years  of  age,  in  an  asylum. 
He  had  reason,  because  he  spoke  and  comprehended,  but 
in  respect  of  understanding  he  was  inferior  to  many  of 
the  lower  animals.      Whenever  I  visited  him  he  noticed 
an  eye-glass  which  I  wore  round  my  neck,  and  in  which 
the  window  of  the  room  and  the  tops  of  the  trees  beyond 
were  reflected :  on  every  occasion  he  was  greatly  surprised 
and  delighted  with  this,  and  was  never  tired  of  looking 
at  it  with  astonishment,  because  he  did  not  understand 
the  immediate  causation  of  reflection. 

While  the  difference  in  degree  of  the  acuteness  of  the 
understanding,  is  very  great  between  man  and  man,  it  is 
even  greater  between  one  species  of  animal  and  another. 
In  all  species  of  animals,  even  those  which  are  nearest 
to  plants,  there  is  at  least  as  much  understanding  as 
suffices  for  the  inference  from  the  effect  on  the  immediate 
object,  to  the  indirectly  known  object  as  its  cause,  i.ct 
sufficient  for  perception,  for  the  apprehension  of  an  object 
For  it  is  this  that  constitutes  them  animals,  as  it  gives 
them  the  power  of  movement  following  on  motives,  and 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  29 

thereby  the  power  of  seeking  for  food,  or  at  least  of  seiz- 
ing it ;  whereas  plants  have  only  movement  following  on 
stimuli,  whose  direct  influence  they  must  await,  or  else 
decay,  for  they  cannot  seek  after  them  nor  appropriate 
them.  We  marvel  at  the  great  sagacity  of  the  most 
developed  species  of  animals,  such  as  the  dog,  the 
elephant,  the  monkey  or  the  fox,  whose  cleverness  has 
been  so  admirably  sketched  by  Buffon.  From  these 
most  sagacious  animals,  we  can  pretty  accurately  deter- 
mine how  far  understanding  can  go  without  reason,  i.e., 
abstract  knowledge  embodied  in  concepts.  We  could  not 
find  this  out  from  ourselves,  for  in  us  understanding  and 
reason  always  reciprocally  support  each  other.  We  find 
that  the  manifestation  of  understanding  in  animals  is 
sometimes  above  our  expectation,  and  sometimes  below 
it.  On  the  one  hand,  we  are  surprised  at  the  sagacity  of 
the  elephant,  who,  after  crossing  many  bridges  during  his 
journey  in  Europe,  once  refused  to  go  upon  one,  because 
he  thought  it  was  not  strong  enough  to  bear  his  weight, 
though  he  saw  the  rest  of  the  party,  consisting  of  men 
and  horses,  go  upon  it  as  usual.  On  the  other  hand,  we 
wonder  that  the  intelligent  Orang-outangs,  who  warm 
themselves  at  a  fire  they  have  found,  do  not  keep  it 
alight  by  throwing  wood  on  it ;  a  proof  that  this  requires 
a  deliberation  which  is  not  possible  without  abstract  con- 
cepts. It  is  clear  that  the  knowledge  of  cause  and  effect, 
as  the  universal  form  of  understanding,  belongs  to  all 
animals  a  priori,  because  to  them  as  to  us  it  is  the  prior 
condition  of  all  perception  of  the  outer  world.  If  any 
one  desires  additional  proof  of  this,  let  him  observe,  for 
example,  how  a  young  dog  is  afraid  to  jump  down  from 
a  table,  however  much  he  may  wish  to  do  so,  because  he 
foresees  the  effect  of  the  weight  of  his  body,  though  he 
has  not  been  taught  this  by  experience.  In  judging  of 
the  understanding  of  animals,  we  must  guard  against 
ascribing  to  it  the  manifestations  of  instinct,  a  faculty 
which   is   quite   distinct   both   from   understanding  and 


3o  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

reason,  but  the  action  of  which  is  often  very  analogous 
to  the  combined  action  of  the  two.  We  cannot,  how- 
ever, discuss  this  here;  it  will  find  its  proper  place  in 

v^    -     the  second  book,  when  we  consider  the  harmony  or  so- 
called  teleology  of  nature :  and  the  27th  chapter  of  the 

\   /         supplementary  volume  is  expressly  devoted  to  it. 

Deficiency  of  understanding  we  call  stupidity:  deficiency 
in  the  application  of  reason  to  practice  we  shall  recog- 
nise later  as  foolishness :  deficiency  of  judgment  as  silli- 
ness, and  lastly,  partial  or  entire  deficiency  of  memory 
as  madness.  But  each  of  these  will  be  considered  in 
its  own  place.  That  which  is  correctly  known  by  reason 
is  truth,  that  is,  an  abstract  judgment  on  sufficient 
grounds  (Essay  on  the  Principle  of  Sufficient  Reason, 
§  29  and  following  paragraphs) ;  that  which  is  correctly 
known  by  understanding  is  reality,  that  is  correct  infer- 
ence from  effect  on  the  immediate  object  to  its  cause. 
Error  is  opposed  to  truth,  as  deception  of  the  reason: 
illusion  is  opposed  to  reality,  as  deception  of  the  under- 
standing. The  full  discussion  of  all  this  will  be  found 
in  the  first  chapter  of  my  essay  on  Light  and  Colour. 
Illusion  takes  place  when  the  same  effect  may  be  attri- 
buted to  two  causes,  of  which  one  occurs  very  frequently, 
the  other  very  seldom;  the  understanding  having  no 
data  to  decide  which  of  these  two  causes  operates  in  any 
particular  case, — for  their  effects  are  exactly  alike, — always 
assumes  the  presence  of  the  commoner  cause,  and  as  the 
activity  of  the  understanding  is  not  reflective  and  dis- 
cursive, but  direct  and  immediate,  this  false  cause  appears 
before  us  as  a  perceived  object,  whereas  it  is  merely 
illusion.  I  have  explained  in  the  essay  referred  to,  how 
in  this  way  double  sight  and  double  feeling  take  place  if 
the  organs  of  sense  are  brought  into  an  unusual  position ; 
and  have  thus  given  an  incontrovertible  proof  that  per- 
ception exists  only  through  and  for  the  understanding. 
As  additional  examples  of  such  illusions  or  deceptions  of 
the  understanding,  we  may  mention  the  broken  appear- 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  31 

ance  of  a  stick  dipped  in  water;  the  reflections  in  spherical 
mirrors,  which,  when  the  surface  is  convex  appear  some- 
what behind  it,  and  when  the  surface  is  concave  appear 
a  long  way  in  front  of  it.     To  this  class  also  belongs  the 
apparently  greater  extension  of  the  moon  at  the  horizon 
than  at  the  zenith.     This  appearance  is  not  optical,  for 
as  the  micrometre  proves,  the  eye  receives  the  image  of 
the  moon  at  the  zenith,  at  an  even  greater  angle  of  vision 
than  at  the  horizon.     The  mistake  is  due  to  the  under- 
standing, which  assumes  that  the  cause  of  the  feebler  light 
of  the  moon  and  of  all  stars  at  the  horizon  is  that  they 
are  further  off,  thus   treating  them   as   earthly  objects, 
according  to  the  laws  of  atmospheric  perspective,  and 
therefore  it  takes  the  moon  to  be  much  larger  at  the 
horizon  than  at  the  zenith,  and  also  regards  the  vault  of 
heaven  as  more  extended  or  flattened  out  at  the  horizon. 
The  same  false  application  of  the  laws  of  atmospheric 
perspective  leads  us  to  suppose  that  very  high  mountains, 
whose  summits  alone  are  visible  in  pure  transparent  air, 
are  much  nearer  than  they  really  are,  and  therefore  not 
so  high  as  they  are ;  for  example,  Mont  Blanc  seen  from 
Salenche.     All  such  illusions  are  immediately  present  to 
us  as  perceptions,  and  cannot  be  dispelled  by  any  argu- 
ments  of  the  reason.     Keason  can  only  prevent  error, 
that  is,  a  judgment  on  insufficient  grounds,  by  opposing 
to  it  a  truth;  as  for  example,  the  abstract  knowledge 
that  the  cause  of  the  weaker  light  of  the  moon  and  the 
stars  at  the  horizon  is  not  greater  distance,  but  the  denser 
atmosphere ;  but  in  all  the  cases  we  have  referred  to,  the 
illusion  remains  in  spite  of  every  abstract  explanation. 
For  the  understanding  is  in  itself,  even  in  the  case  of 
man7  irrational,   and    is    completely    and    sharply   dis- 
tinguished from  the  reason,  which  is  a  faculty  of  know- 
ledge that  belongs  to  man  alone.     The  reason  can  only 
know;  perception   remains  free   from  its  influence  and 
belongs  to  the  understanding  alone. 

5  7.  With  reference  to  our  exposition  up  to  this  point, 


32  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

it  must  be  observed  that  we  did  not  start  either  from 
the  object  or  the  subject,  but  from  the  idea,  which  con- 
tains and  presupposes  them  both ;  for  the  antithesis  of 
object  and  subject  is  its  primary,  universal  and  essential 
form.  We  have  therefore  first  considered  this  form  as 
such ;  then  (though  in  this  respect  reference  has  for  the 
most  part  been  made  to  the  introductory  essay)  the  sub- 
ordinate forms  of  time,  space  and  causality.  The  latter 
belong  exclusively  to  the  object,  and  yet,  as  they  are 
essential  to  the  object  as  such,  and  as  the  object  again 
is  essential  to  the  subject  as  such,  they  may  be  dis- 
covered from  the  subject,  i.e.,  they  may  be  known  a  priori, 
and  so  far  they  are  to  be  regarded  as  the  common  limits 
of  both.  But  all  these  forms  may  be  referred  to  one 
general  expression,  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason,  as 
we  have  explained  in  the  introductory  essay. 

This  procedure  distinguishes  our  philosophical  method 
from  that  of  all  former  systems.  For  they  all  start  either 
from  the  object  or  from  the  subject,  and  therefore  seek  to 
explain  the  one  from  the  other,  and  this  according  to 
the  principle  of  sufficient  reason.  We^on  the  contrary, 
deny  the  validity  of  this  principle  with  reference  to  the 
relation  of  subject  and  object,  and  confine  it  to  the  object. 
It  may  be  thought  that  the  philosophy  of  identity,  which 
has  appeared  and  become  generally  known  in  our  own 
day,  does  not  come  under  either  of  the  alternatives  we 
have  named,  for  it  does  not  start  either  from  the  subject 
or  from  the  object,  but  from  the  absolute,  known  through 
"  intellectual  intuition,"  which  is  neither  object  nor  subject, 
but  the  identity  of  the  two.  I  will  not  venture  to  speak 
of  this  revered  identity,  and  this  absolute,  for  I  find  my- 
self entirely  devoid  of  all  "  intellectual  intuition."  But 
as  I  take  my  stand  merely  on  those  manifestoes  of  tho 
"  intellectual  intuiter  "  which  are  open  to  all,  even  to  pro- 
fane persons  like  myself,  I  must  yet  observe  that  this 
philosophy  is  not  to  be  excepted  from  the  alternative 
errors  mentioned  above.     For  it  does  rot  escape  these 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  33 

two  opposite  errors  in  spite  of  its  identity  of  subject  and 
object,  which  is  not  thinkable,  but  only  "  intellectually 
intuitable,"  or  to  be  experienced  by  a  losing  of  oneself  in 
it.  On  the  contrary,  it  combines  them  both  in  itself; 
for  it  is  divided  into  two  parts,  firstly,  transcendental 
idealism,  which  is  just  Fichte's  doctrine  of  the  ego,  and 
therefore  teaches  that  the  object  is  produced  by  the  sub- 
ject, or  evolved  out  of  it  in  accordance  with  the  principle 
of  sufficient  reason ;  secondly,  the  philosophy  of  nature, 
which  teaches  that  the  subject  is  produced  little  by  little 
from  the  object,  by  means  of  a  method  called  construc- 
tion, about  which  I  understand  very  little,  yet  enough  to 
know  that  it  is  a  process  according  to  various  forms  of 
the  principle  of  sufficient  reason.  The  deep  wisdom  itself 
which  that  construction  contains,  I  renounce;  for  as  I 
entirely  lack  "  intellectual  intuition,"  all  those  expositions 
which  presuppose  it  must  for  me  remain  as  a  book  sealed 
with  seven  seals.  This  is  so  truly  the  case  that,  strange 
to  say,  I  have  always  been  unable  to  find  anything  at  all 
in  this  doctrine  of  profound  wisdom  but  atrocious  and 
wearisome  bombast. 

The  systems  starting  from  the  object  had  always  the 
whole  world  of  perception  and  its  constitution  as 
their  problem ;  yet  the  object  which  they  take  as  their 
starting-point  is  not  always  this  whole  world  of  percep- 
tion, nor  its  fundamental  element,  matter.  On  the 
contrary,  a  division  of  these  systems  may  be  made,  based 
on  the  four  classes  of  possible  objects  set  forth  in  the 
introductory  essay.  Thus  Thales  and  the  Ionic  school, 
Democritus,  Epicurus,  Giordano  Bruno,  and  the  .French 
materialists,  may  be  said  to  have  started  from  the  first 
class  of  objects,  the  real  world:  Spinoza  (on  account  of 
his  conception  of  substance,  which  is  purely  abstract,  and 
exists  only  in  his  definition)  and,  earlier,  the  Eleatics,  from 
the  second  class,  the  abstract  conception:  the  Pytha- 
goreans and  Chinese  philosophy  in  Y-King,  from  the 
third  class,  time,  and  consequently  number:  and,  lastly, 

vol.  I.  c 


34  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

the  schoolmen,  who  teach  a  creation  out  of  nothing  by 
the  act  of  will  of  an  extra-mundane  personal  being, 
started  from  the  fourth  class  of  objects,  the  act  of  will 
directed  by  knowledge. 

Of  all  systems  of  philosophy  which  start  from  the 
object,  the  most  consistent,  and  that  which  may  be  carried 
furthest,  is  simple  materialism.  It  regards  matter,  and 
t  with  it  time  and  space,  as  existing  absolutely,  and  ignores 
the  relation  to  the  subject  in  which  alone  all  this  really 
exists.  It  then  lays  hold  of  the  law  of  causality  as  a 
guiding  principle  or  clue,  regarding  it  as  a  self-existent 
order  (or  arrangement)  of  things,  Veritas  aeterna,  and  so 
fails  to  take  account  of  the  understanding,  in  which  and 
for  which  alone  causality  is.  It  seeks  the  primary  and 
most  simple  state  of  matter,  and  then  tries  to  develop  all 
the  others  from  it ;  ascending  from  mere  mechanism,  to 
chemism,  to  polarity,  to  the  vegetable  and  to  the  animal 
kingdom.  And  if  we  suppose  this  to  have  been  done, 
the  last  link  in  the  chain  would  be  animal  sensibility — 
that  is  knowledge  —  which  would  consequently  now 
appear  as  a  mere  modification  or  state  of  matter  produced 
by  causality.  Now  if  we  had  followed  materialism  thus 
far  with  clear  ideas,  when  we  reached  its  highest  point 
we  would  suddenly  be  seized  with  a  fit  of  the  inex- 
tinguishable laughter  of  the  Olympians.  As  if  waking 
from  a  dream,  we  would  all  at  once  become  aware  that 
its  final  result — knowledge,  which  it  reached  so  labori- 
ously, was  presupposed  as  the  indispensable  condition  of 
its  very  starting-point,  mere  matter;  and  when  we 
imagined  that  we  thought  matter,  we  really  thought  only 
the  subject  that  perceives  matter ;  the  eye  that  sees  it, 
the  hand  that  feels  it,  the  understanding  that  knows  it 
Thus  the  tremendous  petitio  principii  reveals  itself  unex- 
pectedly; for  suddenly  the  last  link  is  seen  to  be  the 
starting-point,  the  chain  a  circle,  and  the  materialist  is 
like  Baron  Munchausen  who,  when  swimming  in  water 
on  horseback,  drew  the  horse  into  the  air  with  his  legs, 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  35 

and  himself  also  by  his  cue.     The  fundamental  absurdity 
of  materialism  is  that  it  starts  from  the    objective,  and 
takes  as  the  ultimate  ground  of  explanation  something 
objective,  whether  it  be  matter  in  the  abstract,  simply  as 
it  is  thought,  or  after  it  has  taken  form,  is  empirically 
given — that  is  to  say,  is  substance,  the  chemical  element 
with  its  primary  relations.     Some  such  thing  it  takes, 
as  existing  absolutely  and  in  itself,  in  order  that  it  may 
evolve  organic  nature  and  finally  the  knowing   subject 
from  it,  and  explain  them  adequately  by  means  of  it ; 
whereas  in  truth  all  that  is  objective  is  already  deter- 
mined as  such  in  manifold  ways  by  the  knowing  subject 
through  its  forms  of  knowing,  and  presupposes  them;  and 
consequently  it  entirely  disappears  if  we  think  the  subject 
away.    Thus  materialism  is  the  attempt  to  explain  what 
is  immediately  given  us  by  what  is  given  us  indirectly,  f 
All  that  is  objective,  extended,  active— that  is  to  say,  all 
that  is  material — is  regarded  by  materialism  as  affording 
so  solid  a  basis  for  its  explanation,  that  a  reduction  of 
everything    to    this    can    leave    nothing    to    be   desired 
(especially  if  in  ultimate  analysis  this  reduction  should 
resolve  itself  into  action  and  reaction).     But  we  have 
shown  that  all  this  is  given  indirectly  and  in  the  highest 
degree  determined,  and  is  therefore  merely  a  relatively 
present  object,  for  it  has  passed  through  the  machinery 
and  manufactory  of  the  brain,  and  has  thus  come  under 
the  forms  of  space,  time  and  causality,  by  means  of  which 
it  is  first  presented  to  us  as  extended  in  space  and  ever 
active  in  time.     From  such  an  indirectly  given  object, 
materialism  seeks  to  explain  what  is  immediately  given, 
the  idea  (in   which   alone   the   object  that  materialism 
starts  with  exists),  and  finally  even  the  will  from  which  all 
those  fundamental  forces,  that  manifest  themselves,  under 
the  guidance  of  causes,  and  therefore  according  to  law, 
are  in  truth   to   be   explained.     To  the   assertion  that 
thought  is  a  modification   of   matter   we   may  always, 
with  equal  right,  oppose  the  contrary  assertion  that  all 


36  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

matter  is  merely  the  modification  of  the  knowing  subject, 
as  its  idea.  Yet  the  aim  and  ideal  of  all  natural  science 
is  at  bottom  a  consistent  materialism.  The  recognition 
here  of  the  obvious  impossibility  of  such  a  system 
establishes  another  truth  which  will  appear  in  the  course 
of  our  exposition,  the  truth  that  all  science  properly  so 
called,  by  which  I  understand  systematic  knowledge 
under  the  guidance  of  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason, 
can  never  reach  its  final  goal,  nor  give  a  complete  and 
adequate  explanation :  for  it  is  not  concerned  with  the 
inmost  nature  of  the  world,  it  cannot  get  beyond  the  idea ; 
indeed,  it  really  teaches  nothing  more  than  the  relation 
of  one  idea  to  another. 

Every  science  must  start  from  two  principal  data. 
One  of  these  is  always  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason 
in  some  form  or  another,  as  organon ;  the  other  is  its 
special  object  as  problem.  Thus,  for  example,  geometry 
has  space  as  problem,  and  the  ground  of  existence  in 
space  as  organon.  Arithmetic  has  time  as  problem,  and 
the  ground  of  existence  in  time  as  organon.  Logic  has 
the  combination  of  concepts  as  such  as  problem,  and  the 
ground  of  knowledge  as  organon.  History  has  the  past 
acts  of  men  treated  as  a  whole  as  problem,  and  the  law 
of  human  motives  as  organon.  Natural  science  has 
matter  as  problem,  and  the  law  of  causality  as  organon. 
Its  end  and  aim  is  therefore,  by  the  guidance  of  causality, 
to  refer  all  possible  states  of  matter  to  other  states,  and 
ultimately  to  one  single  state ;  and  again  to  deduce  these 
states  from  each  other,  and  ultimately  from  one  single 
state.  Thus  two  states  of  matter  stand  over  against  each 
other  in  natural  science  as  extremes :  that  state  in  which 
matter  is  furthest  from  being  the  immediate  object  of  the 
subject,  and  that  state  in  which  it  is  most  completely 
such  an  immediate  object,  i.e.,  the  most  dead  and  crude 
matter,  the  primary  element,  as  the  one  extreme,  and  the 
human  organism  as  the  other.  Natural  science  as 
chemistry  seeks  for  the  first,  as  physiology  for  the  second. 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  37 

But  as  yet  neither  extreme  has  been  reached,  and  it  is 
only  in  the  intermediate  ground  that  something  has  been 
won.  The  prospect  is  indeed  somewhat  hopeless.  The 
chemists,  under  the  presupposition  that  the  qualitative 
division  of  matter  is  not,  like  quantitative  division,  an 
endless  process,  are  always  trying  to  decrease  the  num- 
ber of  the  elements,  of  which  there  are  still  about 
sixty ;  and  if  they  were  to  succeed  in  reducing  them  to 
two,  they  would  still  try  to  find  the  common  root  of 
these.  For,  on  the  one  hand,  the  law  of  homogeneity 
leads  to  the  assumption  of  a  primary  chemical  state  of 
matter,  which  alone  belongs  to  matter  as  such,  and  pre- 
cedes all  others  which  are  not  essentially  matter  as  such, 
but  merely  contingent  forms  and  qualities.  On  the  other 
hand,  we  cannot  understand  how  this  one  state  could 
ever  experience  a  chemical  change,  if  there  did  not  exist 
a  second  state  to  affect  it.  Thus  the  same  difficulty 
appears  in  chemistry  which  Epicurus  met  with  in 
mechanics.  For  he  had  to  show  how  the  first  atom  de- 
parted from  the  original  direction  of  its  motion.  Indeed 
this  contradiction,  which  develops  entirely  of  itself  and 
can  neither  be  escaped  nor  solved,  might  quite  property 
be  set  up  as  a  chemical  antinomy.  Thus  an  antinomy 
appears  in  the  one  extreme  of  natural  science,  and  a 
corresponding  one  will  appear  in  the  other.  There  is  just 
as  little  hope  of  reaching  this  opposite  extreme  of  natural 
science,  for  we  see  ever  more  clearly  that  what  is  chemi- 
cal can  never  be  referred  to  what  is  mechanical,  nor  what 
is  organic  to  what  is  chemical  or  electrical.  Those  who 
in  our  own  day  are  entering  anew  on  this  old,  misleading 
path,  will  soon  slink  back  silent  and  ashamed,  as  all  their 
predecessors  have  done  before  them.  "We  shall  consider 
this  more  fully  in  the  second  book.  Natural  science  en- 
counters the  difficulties  which  we  have  cursorily  men- 
tioned, in  its  own  province.  Eegarded  as  philosophy,  it 
would  further  be  materialism ;  but  this,  as  we  have  seen, 
even  at  its  birth,  has  death  in  its  heart,  because  it  ignores 


38  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

the  subject  and  the  forms  of  knowledge,  which  are 
presupposed,  just  as  much  in  the  case  of  the  crudest 
matter,  from  which  it  desires  to  start,  as  in  that  of  the 
organism,  at  which  it  desires  to  arrive.  For,  "  no  object 
without  a  subject,"  is  the  principle  which  renders  all 
materialism  for  ever  impossible.  Suns  and  planets 
without  an  eye  that  sees  them,  and  an  understanding 
that  knows  them,  may  indeed  be  spoken  of  in  words,  but 
for  the  idea,  these  words  are  absolutely  meaningless.  On 
the  other  hand,  the  law  of  causality  and  the  treatment 
and  investigation  of  nature  which  is  based  upon  it,  lead  us 
necessarily  to  the  conclusion  that, in  time, each  more  highly 
organised  state  of  matter  has  succeeded  a  cruder  state :  so 
that  the  lower  animals  existed  before  men,  fishes  before 
land  animals,  plants  before  fishes,  and  the  unorganised 
before  all  that  is  organised ;  that,  consequently,  the  ori- 
ginal mass  had  to  pass  through  a  long  series  of  changes 
before  the  first  eye  could  be  opened.  And  yet,  the  ex- 
istence of  this  whole  world  remains  ever  dependent  upon 
the  first  eye  that  opened,  even  if  it  were  that  of  an  in- 
sect. For  such  an  eye  is  a  necessary  condition  of  the 
possibility  of  knowledge,  and  the  whole  world  exists  only 
in  and  for  knowledge,  and  without  it  is  not  even  think- 
able. The  world  is  entirely  idea,  and  as  such  demands 
the  knowing  subject  as  the  supporter  of  its  existence. 
This  long  course  of  time  itself,  filled  with  innumerable 
changes,  through  which  matter  rose  from  form  to  form 
till  at  last  the  first  percipient  creature  appeared, — this 
whole  time  itself  is  only  thinkable  in  the  identity  of  a 
consciousness  whose  succession  of  ideas,  whose  form  of 
knowing  it  is,  and  apart  from  which,  it  loses  all  meaning 
and  is  nothing  at  alL  Thus  we  see,  on  the  one  hand,  the 
existence  of  the  whole  world  necessarily  dependent  upon 
the  first  conscious  being,  however  undeveloped  it  may  be ; 
on  the  other  hand,  this  conscious  being  just  as  neces- 
sarily entirely  dependent  upon  a  long  chain  of  causes  and 
effects  which  have  preceded  it,  and  in  which  it  itself 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  39 

appears  as  a  small  link.  These  two  contradictory  points 
of  view,  to  each  of  which  we  are  led  with  the  same  neces- 
sity, we  might  again  call  an  antimmy  in  our  faculty  of 
knowledge,  and  set  it  up  as  the  counterpart  of  that  which 
we  found  in  the  first  extreme  of  natural  science.  The 
fourfold  antinomy  of  Kant  will  be  shown,  in  the  criti- 
cism of  his  philosophy  appended  to  this  volume,  to  be  a 
groundless  delusion.  But  the  necessary  contradiction 
which  at  last  presents  itself  to  us  here,  finds  its  solution 
in  the  fact  that,  to  use  Kant's  phraseology,  time,  space, 
and  causality  do  not  belong  to  the  thing-in-itself,  but 
only  to  its  phenomena,  of  which  they  are  the  form  ;  which 
in  my  language  means  this :  The  objective  world,  the 
world  as  idea,  is  not  the  only  side  of  the  world,  but  merely 
its  outward  side ;  and  it  has  an  entirely  different  side — 
the  side  of  its  inmost  nature — its  kernel — the  thing- 
in-itself.  This  we  shall  consider  in  the  second  book, 
calling  it  after  the  most  immediate  of  its  objective  mani- 
festations— will.  But  the  world  as  idea,  with  which 
alone  we  are  here  concerned,  only  appears  with  the  open- 
ing of  the  first  eye.  Without  this  medium  of  knowledge 
it  cannot  be,  and '  therefore  it  was  not  before  it.  But 
without  that  eye,  that  is  to  say,  outside  of  knowledge, 
there  was  also  no  before,  no  time.  Thus  time  has  no  be- 
ginning, but  all  beginning  is  in  time.  Since,  however,  it  is 
the  most  universal  form  of  the  knowable,  in  which  all 
phenomena  are  united  together  through  causality,  time, 
with  its  infinity  of  past  and  future,  is  present  in  the  be- 
ginning of  knowledge.  The  phenomenon  which  fills  the 
first  present  must  at  once  be  known  as  causally  bound 
up  with  and  dependent  upon  a  sequence  of  phenomena 
which  stretches  infinitely  into  the  past,  and  this  past  it- 
self is  just  as  truly  conditioned  by  this  first  present,  as 
conversely  the  present  is  by  the  past.  Accordingly  the 
past  out  of  which  the  first  present  arises,  is,  like  it,  de- 
pendent upon  the  knowing  subject,  without  which  it  is 
nothing.     It  necessarily  happens,  however,  that  this  first 


40  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

present  does  not  manifest  itself  as  the  first,  that  is,  as 
having  no  past  for  its  parent,  but  as  being  the  beginning 
of  time.  It  manifests  itself  rather  as  the  consequence  of 
the  past,  according  to  the  principle  of  existence  in  time. 
In  the  same  way,  the  phenomena  which  fill  this  first  present 
appear  as  the  effects  of  earlier  phenomena  which  filled 
the  past,  in  accordance  with  the  law  of  causality.  Those 
who  like  mythological  interpretations  may  take  the  birth 
of  Kronos  (xpovo<;),  the  youngest  of  the  Titans,  as  a  sym- 
bol of  the  moment  here  referred  to  at  which  time  appears, 
though,  indeed  it  has  no  beginning ;  for  with  him,  since 
he  ate  his  father,  the  crude  productions  of  heaven  and 
earth  cease,  aud  the  races  of  gods  and  men  appear  upon 
the  scene. 

This  explanation  at  which  we  have  arrived  by  follow- 
ing the  most  consistent  of  the  philosophical  systems 
which  start  from  the  object,  materialism,  has  brought  out 
clearly  the  inseparable  and  reciprocal  dependence  of  sub- 
ject and  object,  and  at  the  same  time  the  inevitable 
antithesis  between  them.  And  this  knowledge  leads  us 
to  seek  for  the  inner  nature  of  the  world,  the  thing-in- 
itself,  not  in  either  of  the  two  elements  of  the  idea,  but 
in  something  quite  distinct  from  it,  and  which  is  not 
encumbered  with  such  a  fundamental  and  insoluble 
antithesis. 

Opposed  to  the  system  we  have  explained,  which  starts 
from  the  object  in  order  to  derive  the  subject  from  it,  is 
the  system  which  starts  from  the  subject  and  tries  to 
derive  the  object  from  it.  The  first  of  these  has  been  of 
frequent  and  common  occurrence  throughout  the  history 
of  philosophy,  but  of  the  second  we  find  only  one  ex- 
ample, and  that  a  very  recent  one  ;  the  "  philosophy  of 
appearance  "  of  J.  G.  Fichte.  In  this  respect,  therefore, 
it  must  be  considered ;  little  real  worth  or  inner  meaning 
as  the  doctrine  itself  had.  It  was  indeed  fur  the  most 
part  merely  a  delusion,  but  it  was  delivered  with  an  air* 
of  the   deepest  earnestness,  with  sustained   loftiness  of 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  4* 

tone  and  zealous  ardour,  and  was  defended  with  eloquent 
polemic  against  weak  opponents,  so  that  it  was  able  to 
present  a  brilliant  exterior  and  seemed  to  be  something. 
But  the  genuine   earnestness  which  keeps  truth  always 
steadfastly  before  it  as  its  goal,  and  is  unaffected  by  any 
external  influences,  was  entirely  wanting  to  Fichte,  as  it 
is  to  all  philosophers  who,  like  him,  concern  themselves 
with  questions  of  the  day.     In  his  case,  indeed,  it  could 
not  have  been  otherwise.     A  man  becomes  a  philosopher 
by  reason  of  a  certain  perplexity,  from  which  he  seeks 
to   free  himself.     This   is  Plato's    dav/iagecv,  which   he 
calls  a  fjiaXa  $i\ooo$ucov  ttg&o?.     But  what  distinguishes 
the  false  philosopher  from  the  true  is  this :  the  perplexity 
of  the  latter  arises  from  the  contemplation  of  the  world 
itself,  while  that  of  the  former  results  from  some  book, 
some  system  of  philosophy  which  is  before  him.     Now 
Fichte  belongs  to  the  class   of  the   false  philosophers. 
He  was  made  a  philosopher  by  Kant's  doctrine  of  the 
thing-in-itself,  and  if  it  had  not  been  for  this  he  would 
probably  have  pursued  entirely  different  ends,  with  far 
better   results,   for    he    certainly    possessed    remarkable 
rhetorical  talent.     If  he  had  only  penetrated  somewhat 
deeply  into  the  meaning  of  the  book  that  made  him  a 
philosopher,  "The  Critique  of  Pure  Reason,"  he  would 
have  understood  that  its  principal  teaching  about  mind 
is  this.     The  principle  of  sufficient  reason  is  not,  as  all 
scholastic  philosophy  maintains,  a  Veritas  aeterna — that  is 
to  say,  it  does  not  possess  an  unconditioned  validity  before, 
outside  of,  and  above  the  world.     It  is  relative  and  con- 
ditioned, and  valid  only  in  the  sphere  of  phenomena,  and 
thus  it  may  appear  as  the  necessary  nexus  of  space  and 
time,  or  as  the  law  of  causality,  or  as  the  law  of  the 
ground  of  knowledge.     The  inner  nature  of  the  world, 
the  thing-in-itself  can  never  be  found  by  the  guidance  of 
this  principle,  for  all  that  it  leads  to  will  be  found  to  be 
dependent  and  relative  and  merely  phenomenal,  not  the 
thing-in-itself.     Further,  it  does  not  concern  the  subject, 


42  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

but  is  only  the  form  of  objects,  which  are  therefore  not 
things-in-themselves.     The  subject  must  exist  along  with 
the  object,  and  the  object  along  with  the  subject,  so  that 
it  is  impossible  that  subject  and  object  can  stand  to  each 
other  in  a  relation  of  reason  and  consequent.     But  Fichte 
did  not  take  up  the  smallest  fragment  of  all  this.    All 
that  interested  him  about  the  matter  was  that  the  system 
started   from  the  subject     Now  Kant  had  chosen  this 
procedure  in  order  to  show  the  fallacy  of  the  prevalent 
systems,   which   started   from   the    object,   and   through 
which  the  object  had  come  to  be  regarded  as  a  thing-in- 
itself.     Fichte,  however,  took   this  departure   from   the 
subject  for  the  really  important  matter,  and  like  all  imita- 
tors, he  imagined  that  in  going  further  than  Kant  he  was 
surpassing   him.      Thus    he   repeated   the    fallacy   with 
regard  to  the  subject,  which  all  the  previous  dogmatism 
had  perpetrated  with  regard  to   the   object,  and  which 
had  been   the  occasion  of  Kant's   "  Critique."      Fichte 
then   made   no   material   change,    and   the   fundamental 
fallacy,  the  assumption  of  a  relation  of  reason  and  con- 
sequent between  object  and  subject,  remained  after  him 
as  it  was  before  him.     The  principle  of  sufficient  reason 
possessed  as    before  an  unconditioned  validity,  and  the 
only   difference    was   that  the   thing-in-itself  was    now 
placed   in   the   subject   instead   of,  as   formerly,    in   the 
object.     The  entire  relativity  of  both  subject  and  object, 
which  proves  that  the  thing-in-itself,  or  the  inner  nature 
of  the  world,  is  not  to  be  sought  in  them  at  all,  but 
outside  of  them,  and  outside  everything  else  that  exists 
merely  relatively,  still  remained  unknown.     Just  as  if 
Kant  had  never  existed,  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason 
is  to  Fichte  precisely  what  it  was  to  all  the  schoolmen,  a 
Veritas  aeterna.     As  an  eternal  fate  reigned  over  the  gods 
of  old,  so  these   aeternce  veritates,    these     metaphysical, 
mathematical  and  metalogical  truths,  and  in  the  case  of 
some,  the  validity  of  the  moral  law  also,  reigned  over  the 
God  of  the  schoolmen.     These  veritatcs  alone  were  inde- 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  43 

pendent  of  everything,  and  through  their  necessity  both 
God  and  the  world  existed.     According  to  the  principle 
of  sufficient  reason,  as  such  a  Veritas  aeterna,  the  ego  is 
for  Fichte  the  ground  of  the  world,  or  of  the  non-ego,  the 
object,  which  is  just  its  consequent,  its  creation.     He 
has  therefore  taken  good  care  to  avoid  examining  further 
or  limiting  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason.      If,  how- 
ever, it  is  thought    I   should  specify   the   form   of  the 
principle  of  sufficient  reason  under  the  guidance  of  which 
Fichte  derives  the  non-ego  from  the  ego,  as  a  spider  spins  its 
web  out  of  itself,  I  find  that  it  is  the  principle  of  sufficient 
reason  of  existence  in  space :  for  it  is  only  as  referred  to 
this  that  some  kind  of  meaning  and  sense  can  be  attached 
to  the  laboured  deductions  of  the  way  in  which  the  ego 
produces  and  fabricates  the  non-ego  from  itself,  which  form 
the  content  of  the  most  senseless,  and  consequently  the 
most    wearisome    book    that    was    ever   written.  ^  This 
philosophy  of  Fichte,  otherwise  not  worth  mentioning,  is 
interesting  to  us  only  as  the  tardy  expression  of  the  con- 
verse of  the  old  materialism.     For  materialism  was  the 
most  consistent  system  starting  from  the  object,  as  this 
is  the  most  consistent  system  starting  from  the  subject. 
Materialism  overlooked  the  fact  that,  with  the  simplest 
object,  it  assumed   the   subject  also;  and   Fichte  over- 
looked the  fact  that  with  the  subject  (whatever  he  may 
call  it)   he   assumed   the  object  also,  for  no   subject  is 
thinkable   without   an   object.      Besides   this   he   forgot 
that  all  a  priori  deduction,  indeed  all  demonstration  in 
general,  must  rest  upon  some   necessity,  and   that  all 
necessity  is  based  on  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason, 
because  to  be  necessary,  and  to  follow  from  given  grounds 
are  convertible  conceptions.1     But  the  principle  of  suffi- 
cient reason  is  just  the   universal  form   of  the  object 
as  such.     Thus  it  is  in  the  object,  but  is  not  valid  before 

i  On  this  see  "  The  Fourfold  Root  of  the  Principle  of  Sufficient  Reason," 
§49- 


44  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

and  outside  of  it ;  it  first  produces  the  object  and  makea 
it  appear  in  conformity  with  its  regulative  principle. 
We  see  then  that  the  system  which  starts  from  the  sub- 
ject contains  the  same  fallacy  as  the  system,  explained 
above,  which  starts  from  the  object ;  it  begins  by  assum- 
ing what  it  proposes  to  deduce,  the  necessary  correlative 
of  its  starting-point. 

The  method  of  our  own  system  is  toto  genere  distinct 
from  these  two    opposite   misconceptions,   for   we   start 
neither  from  the  object  nor  from  the  subject,  but  from 
the  idea,  as   the  first   fact  of  consciousness.      Its  first 
essential,  fundamental  form  is  the  antithesis  of  subject 
and  object.     The  form  of  the  object  again  is  the  prin- 
ciple of  sufficient  reason  in  its  various  forms.     Each  of 
these  reigns  so  absolutely  in  its  own  class  of  ideas  that, 
as  we  have  seen,  when  the  special  form  of  the  principle 
of  sufficient  reason  which  governs  any  class  of  ideas  is 
known,  the  nature  of  the  whole  class  is  known  also :  for 
the  whole  class,  as  idea,  is  no  more  than  this  form  of  the 
principle  of  sufficient  reason  itself;  so  that  time  itself  is 
nothing  but  the  principle  of  existence  in  it,  ie.t  succession; 
space  is  nothing  but  the  principle  of  existence  in  it,  i.c.t 
position;  matter  is  nothing  but  causality;  the  concept 
(as  will  appear  immediately)  is  nothing  but  relation  to  a 
ground   of  knowledge.       This   thorough   and   consistent 
relativity  of  the  world  aT13ea,  both   according   to  its 
universal  form  (subject  and  object),  and  according  to  the 
form  which  is  subordinate  to  this  (the  principle  of  suffi- 
cient reason)  warns  us,  as  we  said  before,  to  seek  the 
inncir  nature  of  the  world  in  an  aspect  of  it  which  is 
quite  different  and  quite  distinct  from  the  idea;  and  in 
the  next  book  we  shall  find  this  in  a  fact  which  is  just 
as  immediate  to  every  living  being  as  the  idea, 

•  But  we  must  first  consider  that  class  of  ideas  which 
belongs  to  man  alone.  The  matter  of  these  is  the  con- 
cept, and  the  subjective  correlative  is  reason,  just  as  the 
subjective  correlative  of  the  ideas  we  have  already  con- 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  45 

sidered  was  understanding  and  sensibility,  which  are  also 

rbe  attributed  to  all  the  lower  animals.1 
§  8.  As  from  the  direct  light  of  the  sun  to  the  borrowed 
light  of  the  moon,  we  pass  from  the  immediate  idea  of 
perception,  which  stands  by  itself  and  is  its  own  warrant, 
to  reflection,  to  the  abstract,  discursive  concepts  of  the 
reason,  which  obtain  their  whole  content  from  know- 
ledge of  perception,  and  in  relation  to  it.  As  long  as 
we  continue  simply  to  perceive,  all  is  clear,  firm,  and 
certain.  There  are  neither  questions  nor  doubts  nor 
errors;  we  desire  to  go  no  further,  can  go  no  further; 
we  find  rest  in  perceiving,  and  satisfaction  in  the  present. 
Perception  suffices  for  itself,  and  therefore  what  springs 
purely  from  it,  and  remains  true  to  it,  for  example,  a 
genuine  work  of  art,  can  never  be  false,  nor  can  it  be 
discredited  through  the  lapse  of  time,  for  it  does  not 
present  an  opinion  but  the  thing  itself.  But  with 
abstract  knowledge,  with  reason,  doubt  and  error  appear 
in  the  theoretical,  care  and  sorrow  in  the  practical.  In 
the  idea  of  perception,  illusion  may  at  moments  take  the 
j  place  of  the  real ;  but  in  the  sphere  of  abstract  thought, 
error  may  reign  for  a  thousand  years,  impose  its  yoke 
/  upon  whole  nations,  extend  to  the  noblest  impulses  of 
^  humanity,  and,  by  the  help  of  its  slaves  and  its  dupes, 
may  chain  and  fetter  those  whom  it  cannot  deceive.  It 
is  the  enemy  against  which  the  wisest  men  of  all  times 
have  waged  unequal  war,  and  only  what  they  have  won 
from  it  has  become  the  possession  of  mankind.  There- 
fore it  is  well  to  draw  attention  to  it  at  once,  as  we 
already  tread  the  ground  to  which  its  province  belongs. 
It  has  often  been  said  that  we  ought  to  follow  truth  even 
although  no  utility  can  be  seen  in  it,  because  it  may  have 
indirect  utility  which  may  appear  when  it  is  least  ex- 
pected; and  I  would  add  to  this,  that  we  ought  to  be 
just  as  anxious  to  discover  and  to  root  out  all  error  even 

1  The  first  four  chapters  of  the  first  of  the  supplementary  books  belong 
to  these  seven  paragraphs. 


46  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

when  no  harm  is  anticipated  from  it,  because  its  mischief- 
may  be  very  indirect,  and  may  suddenly  appear  when 
we  do  not  expect  it,  for  all  error  has  poison  at  its  heart. 
If  it  is  mind,  if  it  is  knowledge,  that  makes  man  the  lord 
of  creation,  there  can  be  no  such  thing  as  harmless  error, 
still  less  venerable  and  holy  error.  And  for  the  consola- 
tion of  those  who  in  any  way  and  at  any  time  may  have 
devoted  strength  and  life  to  the  noble  and  hard  battle 
against  error,  I  cannot  refrain  from  adding  that,  so  long 
as  truth  is  absent,  error  will  have  free  play,  as  owls  and 
bats  in  the  night;  but  sooner  would  we  expect  to  see 
the  owls  and  the  bats  drive  back  the  sun  in  the  eastern 
heavens,  than  that  any  truth  whicli  has  once  been  known 
and  distinctly  and  fully  expressed,  can  ever  again  be  so 
utterly  vanquished  and  overcome  that  the  old  error  shall 
once  more  reign  undisturbed  over  its  wide  kingdom.  This 
is  the  power  of  truth ;  its  conquest  is  slow  and  laborious, 
but  if  once  the  victory  be  gained  it  can  never  be  wrested 
back  again. 

Besides  the  ideas  we  have  as  yet  considered,  which, 
according  to  their  construction,  could  be  referred  to  time, 
space,  and  matter,  if  we  consider  them  with  reference  to 
the  object,  or  to  pure  sensibility  and  understanding  (i.e., 
knowledge  of  causality),  if  we  consider  them  with 
reference  to  the  subject,  another  faculty  of  knowledge 
has  appeared  in  man  alone  of  all  earthly  creatures,  an 
entirely  new  consciousness,  which,  with  very  appropriate 
and  significant  exactness,  is  called  reflection.  For  it  is  in 
fact  derived  from  the  knowledge  of  perception,  and  is  a 
reflected  appearance  of  it.  But  it  has  assumed  a  nature 
fundamentally  different.  The  forms  of  perception  do  not 
affect  it,  and  even  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason  which 
reigns  over  all  objects  has  an  entirely  different  aspect  with 
regard  to  it  It  is  just  this  new,  more  highly  endowed, 
consciousness,  this  abstract  reflex  of  all  that  belongs  to 
perception  in  that  conception  of  the  reason  which  has 
nothing  to   do  with  perception,  that  gives  to  man  that 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  47 

thoughtfulness   which  distinguishes  his  consciousness  so 
entirely  from   that  of   the  lower  animals,  and  through 
which  his  whole  behaviour  upon  earth  is  so  different  from 
that  of  his  irrational  fellow-creatures.     He  far  surpasses 
them  in  power  and  also  in  suffering.     They  live  in  the  \[ 
present  alone,  he  lives  also  in  the  future  and  the  past..  \ 
They  satisfy  the  needs  of  the  moment,  he  provides  by  the 
most  ingenious  preparations  for  the  future,  yea  for  days 
that  he  shall  never  see.  They  are  entirely  dependent  on  the 
impression  of  the  moment,  on  the  effect  of  the  perceptible 
motive ;  he  is  determined  by  abstract  conceptions  inde- 
pendent of  the  present.     Therefore  he  follows  predeter- 
mined plans,  he  acts  from  maxims,  without  reference  to 
his   surroundings   or   the   accidental   impression   of  the 
moment.     Thus,  for  example,  he   can  make  with  com- 
posure deliberate  preparations  for  his  own  death,  he  can 
dissemble  past  finding  out,  and  can  carry  his  secret  with 
him  to  the  grave ;  lastly,  he  has  an  actual  choice  between   i 
several  motives;    for  only  in   the    abstract    can    such 
motives,   present  together   in    consciousness,   afford  the 
knowledge  with  regard  to  themselves,  that  the  one  ex- 
cludes the   other,    and    can    thus    measure    themselves 
against  each  other  with  reference  to  their  power  over  the 
will     The  motive  that  overcomes,  in  that  it  decides  the 
question  at  issue,  is  the  deliberate  determinant  of  the 
will,  and  is  a  sure  indication  of  its  character.    The  brute, 
on  the   other  hand,  is  determined   by  the  present  im- 
pression ;    only   the    fear  of    present    compulsion    can 
constrain  its  desires,  until  at  last  this  fear  has  become 
custom,  and  as  such  continues  to  determine  it ;  this  is 
called  training.     The  brute  feels  and  perceives  ;  man,  in 
addition  to  this,  thinks  and  knows :  both  will.     The  brute 
expresses  its   feelings  and  dispositions  by  gestures  and 
sounds ;  man  communicates  his  thought  to  others,  or,  if 
he  wishes,  he  conceals  it,  by  means  of  speech.     Speech 
is  the  first  production,  and  also  the  necessary  organ  of 
his  reason.     Therefore  in  Greek  and  Italian,  speech  and 


48  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

reason  are  expressed  by  the  same  word ;  6  \oyos,  il 
discorso.  Vcmunft  is  derived  from  vemchmen,  which 
is  not  a  synonym  for  the  verb  to  hear,  but  signi- 
fies the  consciousness  of  the  meaning  of  thoughts  com- 
municated in  words.  It  is  by  the  help  of  language  alone 
that  reason  accomplishes  its  most  important  achieve- 
ments,— the  united  action  of  several  individuals,  the 
planned  co-operation  of  many  thousands,  civilisation,  the 
state;  also  science,  the  storing  up  of  experience,  the 
uniting  of  common  properties  in  one  concept,  the  com- 
munication of  truth,  the  spread  of  error,  thoughts  and 
poems,  dogmas  and  superstitions.  The  brute  first  knows 
death  when  it  dies,  but  man  draws  consciously  nearer  to 
it  every  hour  that  he  lives ;  and  this  makes  life  at  times 
a  questionable  good  even  to  him  who  has  not  recognised 
this  character  of  constant  annihilation  in  the  whole  of 
life.  Principally  on  this  account  man  has  philosophies 
and  religions,  though  it  is  uncertain  whether  the  qualities 
we  admire  most  in  his  conduct,  voluntary  rectitude  and 
nobility  of  feeling,  were  ever  the  fruit  of  either  of  them. 
As  results  which  certainly  belong  only  to  them,  and  as 
productions  of  reason  in  this  sphere,  we  may  refer  to 
the  marvellous  and  monstrous  opinions  of  philosophers  of 
various  schools,  and  the  extraordinary  and  sometimes 
cruel  customs  of  the  priests  of  different  religions. 

It  is  the  universal  opinion  of  all  times  and  of  all 
nations  that  these  manifold  and  far-reaching  achieve- 
ments spring  from  a  common  principle,  from  that  peculiar 
intellectual  power  which  belongs  distinctively  to  man 
and  which  has  been  called  reason,  6  \oyos,  to  Xoyiariicov, 
to  XoyifMop,  ratio.  Besides  this,  no  one  finds  any  diffi- 
culty in  recognising  the  manifestations  of  this  faculty, 
and  in  saying  what  is  rational  and  what  is  irrational, 
where  reason  appears  as  distinguished  from  the  other 
faculties  and  qualities  of  man,  or  lastly,  in  pointing  out 
what,  on  account  of  the  want  of  reason,  we  must  never 
expect  even  from  the  most  sensible  brute.     The  philoso- 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  49 

pliers  of  all  ages  may  be  said  to  be  on  the  whole  at  one 
about  this  general  knowledge  of  reason,  and  they  have 
also  given  prominence  to  several  very  important  mani- 
festations of  it;     such  as,  the  control  of  the    emotions 
and  passions,  the  capacity  for  drawing  conclusions  and 
formulating  general   principles,   even   such   as  are    true 
prior  to  all  experience,  and  so  forth.     Still  all  their  ex- 
planations of  the  peculiar  nature  of  reason  are  wavering, 
not  clearly  defined,  discursive,  without  unity  and  con- 
centration ;  now  laying  stress  on  one  manifestation,  now 
on   another,  and  therefore  often  at  variance  with  each 
other.      Besides  this,   many   start   from   the    opposition 
between  reason   and  revelation,  a  distinction   which  is 
unknown  to  philosophy,  and  which  only  increases  con- 
fusion.    It    is    very    remarkable   that   up   till   now    no 
philosopher   has  referred   these  manifold   expressions  of. 
reason  to  one  simple  function  which  would  be  recognised 
in  them  all,  from  which  they  would  all  be  explained,  and 
which  would  therefore  constitute  the  real  inner   nature 
of  reason.     It  is  true  that  the  excellent  Locke  in  the 
"Essay  on  the  Human  Understanding"  (Book  II,  ch.  xi., 
§§  10  and  1 1),  very  rightly  refers  to  general  concepts  as 
the   characteristic   which    distinguishes    man    from    the 
brutes,  and  Leibnitz  quotes  this  with  full  approval  in  the 
I Nouveaux  Essais  sur  TEntendement  Humaine  "   (Book 
II., ch.  xi.,  §§  io  and  1 1.)    But  when  Locke  (in  Book  IV., 
ch.  xvii.,  §§  2  and  3)  comes  to  the  special  explanation  of 
reason  he   entirely  loses    sight   of  this  simple,  primary 
characteristic,  and  he  also  falls  into  a  wavering,  undeter- 
mined,  incomplete   account  of  mangled   and   derivative 
manifestations  of  it.     Leibnitz  also,  in  the  corresponding 
part  of  his  work,  behaves  in  a  similar  manner,  only  with 
more  confusion  and  indistinctness.     In  the  Appendix,  1 
have  fully  considered  how  Kant  confused  and  falsified 
the  conception  of   the  nature  of  reason.     But  whoever 
will  take  the  trouble  to  go  through  in  this  reference  the 
mass  of  philosophical  writing  which  has  appeared  since 
vol.  1.  D 


5o  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

Kant,  will  find  out,  that  just  as  the  faults  of  princes 
must  be  expiated  by  whole  nations,  the  errors  of  great 
minds  extend  their  influence  over  whole  generations,  and 
even  over  centuries;  they  grow  and  propagate  them- 
selves, and  finally  degenerate  into  monstrosities.  All  this 
arises  from  the  fact  that,  as  Berkeley  says,  "Few  men 
think ;  yet  all  will  have  opinions." 

The  understanding  has  only  one  function — immediate 
knowledge  of  the  relation  of  cause  and  effect.  Yet  the 
perception  of  the  real  world,  and  all  common  sense, 
sagacity,  and  inventiveness,  however  multifarious  their 
applications  may  be,  are  quite  clearly  seen  to  be  no- 
thing more  than  manifestations  of  that  one  function.  So 
also  the  reason  has  one  function ;  and  from  it  all  the 
manifestations  of  reason  we  have  mentioned,  which  dis- 
tinguish the  life  of  man  from  that  of  the  brutes,  may 
easily  be  explained.  The  application  or  the  non-appli- 
cation of  this  function  is  all  that  is  meant  by  what 
men  have  everywhere  and  always  called  rational  and 
irrational.1 

§  9.  Concepts  form  a  distinct  class  of  ideas,  existing 
only  in  the  mind  of  man,  and  entirely  different  from  the 
ideas  of  perception  which  we  have  considered  up  till 
now.  We  can  therefore  never  attain  to  a  sensuous  and, 
properly  speaking,  evident  knowledge  of  their  nature, 
but  only  to  a  knowledge  which  is  abstract  and  discursive. 
It  would,  therefore,  be  absurd  to  demand  that  they  should 
be  verified  in  experience,  if  by  experience  is  meant  the 
real  external  world,  winch  consists  of  ideas  of  perception, 
or  that  they  should  be  brought  before  the  eyes  or  the 
imagination  like  objects  of  perception.  They  can  only 
be  thought,  not  perceived,  and  only  the  effects  which 
men  accomplish  through  them  are  properly  objects  of  ex- 
perience. Such  effects  are  language,  preconceived  and 
planned  action  and  science,  and  all  that  results  from  these. 

1  Compare  with  this  paragraph  §§     essay  on  the  principle  of  sufficient 
26  and  27  of  the  third  edition  of  the     reason. 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  51 

Speech,  as  an  object  of  outer  experience,  is  obviously  no- 
thing more  than  a  very  complete  telegraph,  which  com- 
municates   arbitrary    signs    with    the    greatest   rapidity 
and  the  finest  distinctions  of  difference.     But  what  do 
these  signs  mean  ?     How  are  they  interpreted  ?      When 
some  one  speaks,  do  we  at  once  translate  his  words  into 
pictures  of  the  fancy,  which  instantaneously  flash  upon 
us,  arrange  and  link  themselves  together,  and  assume 
form  and  colour  according  to  the  words  that  are  poured 
forth,    and    their    grammatical    inflections  ?       What    a 
tumult  there  would  be  in  our  brains  while  we  listened 
to  a  speech,  or  to  the  reading  of  a  book  ?     But  what 
actually    happens  is  not  this  at  all.     The   meaning    of 
a  speech  is,  as  a  rule,  immediately  grasped,  accurately 
and  distinctly  taken  in,  without  the  imagination  being 
brought  into  play.     It  is  reason  which  speaks  to  reason^ 
keeping  within  its  own  province.     It  communicates  and 
receives  abstract  conceptions,  ideas  that  cannot  be  pre- 
sented in  perceptions,  which  are  framed  once  for  all,  and 
are  relatively  few  in  number,  but  which  yet  encompass, 
contain,  and  represent  all  the  innumerable  objects  of  the 
actual  world.     This  itself  is  sufficient  to  prove  that  the 
lower  animals  can  never  learn  to  speak  or  comprehend, 
although  they  have  the  organs  of  speech  and  ideas  of 
perception    in    common    with    us.     But  because  words 
represent   this    perfectly  distinct    class  of    ideas,  whose 
subjective  correlative  is  reason,  they  are  without  sense 
and  meaning  for  the  brutes.     Thus  language,  like  every 
other  manifestation  which  we  ascribe  to  reason,  and  like 
everything  which  distinguishes  man  from  the  brutes,  is  to 
be  explained  from  this  as  its  one  simple  source — concep- 
tions, abstract  ideas  which  cannot  be  presented  in  percep- 
tion, but  are  general,  and  have  no  individual  existence 
j^i  space  and  time.     Only  in  single  cases  do  we  pass 
from  the  conception  to  the  perception,  do  we  construct 
images    as  representatives   of  concepts    in  perception,  to 
Nvhich,  however,  they  are  never  adequate.     These  cases 


52  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

are  fully  discussed  in  the  essay  on  the  principle  ol 
sufficient  reason,  §28,  and  therefore  I  shall  not  repeat 
my  explanation  here.  It  may  bo  compared,  however, 
with  what  is  said  by  Hume  in  the  twelfth  of  his  "  Philo- 
sophical Essays,"  p.  244,  and  by  Herder  in  the  "  Metacri- 
tik,"  pt  i.  p.  274  (an  otherwise  worthless  book).  The 
Platonic  idea,  the  possibility  of  which  depends  upon  the 
union  of  imagination  and  reason,  is  the  principal  subject 
of  the  third  book  of  this  work. 

Although  concepts  are  fundamentally  different  from 
ideas  of  perception,  they  stand  in  a  necessary  relation 
to  them,  without  which  they  would  be  nothing.  This 
relation  therefore  constitutes  the  whole  nature  and  exist- 
ence of  concepts.  Befiection  is  the  necessary  copy  or 
repetition  of  the  originally  presented  world  of  perception, 
but  it  is  a  special  kind  of  copy  in  an  entirely  different 
material  Thus  concepts  may  quite  properly  be  called 
Hdeas  of  ideas.  The  principle  of  sufficient  reason  has 
here  also  a  special  form.  Now  we  have  seen  that  the 
form  under  which  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason 
appears  in  a  class  of  ideas  always  constitutes  and  ex- 
hausts the  whole  nature  of  the  class,  so  far  as  it  consists 
of  ideas,  so  that  time  is  throughout  succession,  and 
nothing  more ;  space  is  throughout  position,  and  nothing 
more ;  matter  is  throughout  causation,  and  nothing  more. 
In  the  same  way  the  whole  nature  of  concepts,  or  the 
class  of  abstract  ideas,  consists  simply  in  the  relation 
which  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason  expresses  in  them; 
and  as  this  is  the  relation  to  the  ground  of  knowledge, 
the  whole  nature  of  the  abstract  idea  is  simply  and  solely 
its  relation  to  another  idea,  which  is  its  ground  of  know- 
ledge. This,  indeed,  may,  in  the  first  instance,  be  a 
concept,  an  abstract  idea,  and  this  again  may  have  only 
a  similar  abstract  ground  of  knowledge ;  but  the  chain 
of  grounds  of  knowledge  does  not  extend  ad  infinitum; 
it  must  end  at  last  in  a  concept  which  has  its  ground  in 
knowledge  of  perception ;  for  the  whole  world  of  reflec- 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  53 

tion  rests  on  the  world  of  perception  as  its  ground  of 
knowledge.  Hence  the  class  of  abstract  ideas  is  in  this 
respect  distinguished  from  other  classes;  in  the  latter 
the  principle  of  sufficient  reason  always  demands  merely 
a  relation  to  another  idea  of  the  same  class,  but  in  the 
case  of  abstract  ideas,  it  at  last  demands  a  relation  to  an 
idea  of  another  class. 

Those  concepts  which,  as  has  just  been  pointed  out, 
are  not  immediately  related  to  the  world  of  perception, 
but  only  through  the  medium  of  one,  or  it  may  be  several 
other  concepts,  have  been  called  by  preference  abstracta, 
and  those  which  have  their  ground  immediately  in  the 
world  of  perception  have  been  called  concreta.  But  this 
last  name  is  only  loosely  applicable  to  the  concepts 
denoted  by  it,  for  they  are  always  merely  abstracta,  and 
not  ideas  of  perception.  These  names,  which  have 
originated  in  a  very  dim  consciousness  of  the  distinctions 
they  imply,  may  yet,  with  this  explanation,  be  retained. 
As  examples  of  the  first  kind  of  concepts,  i.e.,  abstracta 
in  the  fullest  sense,  we  may  take  '  relation,'  '  virtue,' 
'investigation,'  'beginning,'  and  so  on.  As  examples  of 
the  second  kind,  loosely  called  concreta,  we  may  take- 
such  concepts  as  'man,'  'stone,'  'horse,'  &c.  If  it  were 
not  a  somewhat  too  pictorial  and  therefore  absurd  simile, 
we  might  very  appropriately  call  the  latter  the  ground 
floor,  and  the  former  the  upper  stories  of  the  building  of 
reflection.1 

It  is  not,  as  is  commonly  supposed,  an  essential  char- 
acteristic of  a  concept  that  it  should  contain  much  under 
it,  that  is  to  say,  that  many  ideas  of  perception,  or  it 
may  be  other  abstract  ideas,  should  stand  to  it  in  the 
relation  of  its  ground  of  knowledge,  i.e.,  be  thought 
through  it.  This  is  merely  a  derived  and  secondary 
characteristic,  and,  as  a  matter  of  fact,  does  not  always 
exist,  though  it  must  always  exist  potentially.  This 
characteristic  arises  from  the  fact  that  a  concept  is  an 

1  Cf.  Ch.  5  and  6  of  the  Supplement. 


54  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

idea  of  an  idea,  i.e.}  its  whole  nature  consists  in  its  rela- 
tion to  another  idea;  but  as  it  is  not  this  idea  itself, 
which  is  generally  an  idea  of  perception  and  therefore 
belongs  to  quite  a  different  class,  the  latter  may  have 
temporal,  spacial,  and  other  determinations,  and  in  general 
many  relations  which  are  not  thought  along  with  it  in 
the  concept.  Thus  we  see  that  several  ideas  which  are 
different  in  unessential  particulars  may  be  thought  by 
means  of  one  concept,  i.e.,  may  be  brought  under  it. 
Yet  this  power  of  embracing  several  things  is  not  an 
essential  but  merely  an  accidental  characteristic  of  the 
concept  There  may  be  concepts  through  which  only  one 
real  object  is  thought,  but  which  are  nevertheless  abstract 
and  general,  by  no  means  capable  of  presentation  indivi- 
dually and  as  perceptions.  Such,  for  example,  is  the 
conception  which  any  one  may  have  of  a  particular  town 
which  he  only  knows  from  geography;  although  only 
this  one  town  is  thought  under  it,  it  might  yet  be  applied 
to  several  towns  differing  in  certain  respects.  We  see 
then  that  a  concept  is  not  general  because  of  being 
abstracted  from  several  objects ;  but  conversely,  because 
generality,  that  is  to  say,  non-determination  of  the  par- 
ticular, belongs  to  the  concept  as  an  abstract  idea  of  the 
reason,  different  things  can  be  thought  by  means  of  the 
same  one. 

It  follows  from  what  has  been  said  that  every  con- 
cept, just  because  it  is  abstract  and  incapable  of 
presentation  in  perception,  and  is  therefore  not  a  com- 
pletely determined  idea,  has  what  is  called  extension  or 
sphere,  even  in  the  case  in  which  only  one  real  object 
exists  that  corresponds  to  it.  Now  we  always  find  that 
the  sphere  of  one  concept  has  something  in  common  with 
the  sphere  of  other  concepts.  That  is  to  say,  part  of 
what  is  thought  under  one  concept  is  the  same  as  what 
is  thought  under  other  concepts ;  and  conversely,  part  of 
what  is  thought  under  these  conoepts  is  the  same  as 
what  is  thought  under  the  first ;  although,  if  they  are 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  55 

really  different  concepts,  each  of  them,  or  at  least  one  of 
them,  contains  something  which  the  other  does  not  con- 
tain ;  this  is  the  relation  in  which  every  subject  stands  * 
to  its  predicate.  The  recognition  of  this  relation  is  called 
judgment.  The  representation  of  these  spheres  by  means 
of  figures  in  space,  is  an  exceedingly  happy  idea.  It 
first  occurred  to  Gottfried  Plouquet,  who  used  squares  for 
the  purpose.  Lambert,  although  later  than  him,  used 
only  lines,  which  he  placed  under  each  other.  Euler 
carried  out  the  idea  completely  with  circles.  Upon 
what  this  complete  analogy  between  the  relations  of 
concepts,  and  those  of  figures  in  space,  ultimately  rests,  I 
am  unable  to  say.  It  is,  however,  a  very  fortunate 
circumstance  for  logic  that  all  the  relations  of  concepts, 
according  to  their  possibility,  i.e.,  a  priori,  may  be  made 
plain  in  perception  by  the  use  of  such  figures,  in  the 
following  way : — 

( 1 .)  The  spheres  of  two  concepts  coincide :  for  ex- 
ample the  concept  of  necessity  and  the  concept  of 
following  from  given  grounds,  in  the  same  way  the 
concepts  of  Buminantia  and  Bisulca  (ruminating  and 
cloven-hoofed  animals),  also  those  of  vertebrate  and  red- 
blooded  animals  (although  there  might  be  some  doubt 
about  this  on  account  of  the  annelida) :  they  are  con- 
vertible concepts.  Such  concepts  are  represented  by  a 
single  circle  which  stands  for  either  of  them. 

(2.)  The  sphere  of  one  concept  includes  that  of  the 
other. 


56 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 


(3.)  A  sphere  includes  two  or   more  spheres  which 
exclude  each  other  and  fill  it. 


(4.)  Two  spheres  include  each  a  part  of  the  other 


(5.)  Two  spheres  lie  in  a  third,  but  do  not  fill  it 


This  last  case  applies  to  all  concepts  whose  spheres 
have  nothing  immediately  in  common,  for  there  is  always 
a  third  sphere,  often  a  much  wider  one,  which  includes 
both. 

To  these  cases  all  combinations  of  concepts  may  be 
referred,  and  from  them  the  entire  doctrine  of  the  judg- 
ment, its  conversion,  contraposition,  equipollence,  disjunc- 
tion (this  according  to  the  third  figure)  may  be  deduced 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  57 

From  these  also  may  be  derived  the  properties  of  the 
judgment,  upon  which  Kant  based  his  pretended  cate- 
gories of  the  understanding,  with  the  exception  however 
of  the  hypothetical  form,  which  is  not  a  combination  of 
concepts,  but  of  judgments.  A  full  account  is  given  in 
the  Appendix  of  "  Modality,"  and  indeed  of  every  property 
of  judgments  on  which  the  categories  are  founded. 

With  regard  to  the  possible  combinations  of  concepts 
which  we  have  given,  it  has  only  further  to  be  remarked 
that  they  may  also  be  combined  with  each  other  in  many 
ways.     For  example,  the  fourth  figure  with  the  second. 
Only  if  one  sphere,  which  partly   or  wholly    contains 
another,  is  itself  contained  in  a  third  sphere,  do  these 
together  exemplify  the  syllogism  in  the  first  figure,  i.e., 
that  combination  of  judgments,  by  means  of  which  it  is 
known  that   a   concept  which  is  partly  or  wholly  con- 
tained  in  another  concept,  is  also  contained  in   a  third 
concept,  which  again   contains   the  first :  and  also,  con- 
versely,  the   negation;    the   pictorial    representation    of 
which  can,    of  course,  only   be  two   connected   spheres 
which  do  not  lie  within  a  third  sphere.     If  many  spheres 
are  brought  together  in  this  way  we  get  a  long  train  of 
syllogisms.     This   schematism  of    concepts,    which    has 
already  been  fairly  well  explained  in  more  than  one  text- 
book, may  be  used  as  the  foundation  of  the  doctrine  of 
the  judgment,  and  indeed  of  the  whole  syllogistic  theory, 
and  in   this  way  the  treatment  of  both  becomes   very 
easy  and  simple.     Because,  through  it,  all  syllogistic  rules 
may  be  seen  in  their  origin,  and  may  be  deduced  and 
explained.     It  is  not  necessary,  however,   to   load   the 
memory  with  these  rules,  as  logic  is  never  of  practical 
use,  but  has  only  a  theoretical  interest  for  philosophy. 
For  although   it  may  be   said  that  logic  is  related  to 
rational  thinking  as   thorough-bass  is   to  music,  or  less 
exactly,  as  ethics  is  to  virtue,  or  aesthetics  to  art ;  we 
must  yet  remember  that  no  one  ever  became  an  artist  by 
the  study  of  aesthetics ;  that  a  noble  character  was  never 


58  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

formed  by  the  study  of  ethics ;  that  long  before  Raineau, 
men  composed  correctly  and  beautifully,  and  that  we  do 
not  need  to  know  thorough-bass  in  order  to  detect  dis- 
cords :  and  just  as  little  do  we  need  to  know  logic  in 
order  to  avoid  being  misled  by  fallacies.  Yet  it  must  be 
conceded  that  thorough-bass  is  of  the  greatest  use  in 
the  practice  of  musical  composition,  although  it  may 
not  be  necessary  for  the  understanding  of  it ;  and  indeed 
aesthetics  and  even  ethics,  though  in  a  much  less  degree, 
and  for  the  most  part  negatively,  may  be  of  some  use 
in  practice,  so  that  we  cannot  deny  them  all  practical 
worth,  but  of  logic  even  this  much  cannot  be  conceded. 
It  is  nothing  more  than  the  knowledge  in  the  abstract  of 
what  every  one  knows  in  the  concrete.  Therefore  we 
call  in  the  aid  of  logical  rules,  just  as  little  to  enable  us 
to  construct  a  correct  argument  as  to  prevent  us  from 
consenting  to  a  false  one,  and  the  most  learned  logician 
lays  aside  the  rules  of  logic  altogether  in  his  actual 
thought.  This  may  be  explained  in  the  following  way. 
Every  science  is  a  system  of  general  and  therefore  ab- 
stract truths,  laws,  and  rules  with  reference  to  a  special 
class  of  objects.  The  individual  case  coming  under  these 
laws  is  determined  in  accordance  with  this  general  know- 
ledge, which  is  valid  once  for  all ;  because  such  appli- 
cation of  the  general  principle  is  far  easier  than  the 
exhaustive  investigation  of  the  particular  case;  for  the 
general  abstract  knowledge  which  has  once  been  obtained 
is  always  more  within  our  reach  than  the  empirical  in- 
vestigation of  the  particular  case.  With  logic,  however,  it 
is  just  the  other  way.  It  is  the  general  knowledge  of  / 
the  mode  of  procedure  of  the  reason  expressed  in  the  J\ 
form  of  rules.  It  is  reached  by  the  introspection  of/ 
reason,  and  by  abstraction  from  all  content.  But  this/ 
mode  of  procedure  is  necessary  and  essential  to  reasojtf, 
so  that  it  will  never  depart  from  it  if  left  to  itself.  It 
is,  therefore,  easier  and  surer  to  let  it  proceed  itself 
according  to  its  nature  in  each  particular  case,  than  to 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  59 

present  to  it  the  knowledge  abstracted  from  this  pro- 
cedure in  the  form  of  a  foreign  and  externally  given 
law.  It  is  easier,  because,  while  in  the  case  of  all  other 
sciences,  the  general  rule  is  more  within  our  reach  than 
the  investigation  of  the  particular  case  taken  by  itself ; 
with  the  use  of  reason,  on  the  contrary,  its  necessary  pro- 
cedure in  a  given  case  is  always  more  within  our  reach 
than  the  general  rule  abstracted  from  it;  for  that 
which  thinks  in  us  is  reason  itself.  It  is  surer,  because  a 
mistake  may  more  easily  occur  in  such  abstract  know- 
ledge, or  in  its  application,  than  that  a  process  of 
reason  should  take  place  which  would  run  contrary  to 
its  essence  and  nature.  Hence  arises  the  remarkable 
fact,  that  while  in  other  sciences  the  particular  case  is 
always  proved  by  the  rule,  in  logic,  on  the  contrary,  the 
rule  must  always  be  proved  from  the  particular  case  ; 
and  even  the  most  practised  logician,  if  he  remark  that  in 
some  particular  case  he  concludes  otherwise  than  the  rule 
prescribes,  will  always  expect  to  find  a  mistake  in  the  rule 
rather  than  in  his  own  conclusion.  To  desire  to  make 
practical  use  of  logic  means,  therefore,  to  desire  to  derive 
with  unspeakable  trouble,  from  general  rules,  that  which 
is  immediately  known  with  the  greatest  certainty  in  the 
particular  case.  It  is  just  as  if  a  man  were  to  consult 
mechanics  as  to  the  motion  of  his  body,  and  physiology  as 
to  his  digestion  ;  and  whoever  has  learnt  logic  for  prac- 
tical purposes  is  like  him  who  would  teach  a  beaver  to 
make  its  own  dam.  Logic  is,  therefore,  without  practical 
utility ;  but  it  must  nevertheless  be  retained,  because  it 
has  philosophical  interest  as  the  special  knowledge  of  the 
organisation  and  action  of  reason.  It  is  rightly  regarded 
as  a  definite,  self-subsisting,  self-contained,  complete,  and 
thoroughly  safe  discipline ;  to  be  treated  scientifically 
for  itself  alone  and  independently  of  everything  else,  and 
therefore  to  be  studied  at  the  universities.  But  it  has 
its  real  value,  in  relation  to  philosophy  as  a  whole,  in  the 
inquiry  into   the  nature   of    knowledge,  and    indeed   of 


• 


6o  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

rational  and  abstract  knowledge.  Therefore  the  exposi- 
tion of  logic  should  not  have  so  much  the  form  of  a  prac- 
tical science,  should  not  contain  merely  naked  arbitrary 
rules  for  the  correct  formation  of  the  judgment,  the  syllo- 
gism, &c,  but  should  rather  be  directed  to  the  knowledge 
of  the  nature  of  reason  and  the  concept,  and  to  the  de- 
tailed investigation  of  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason 
of  knowing.  For  logic  is  only  a  paraphrase  of  this  prin- 
ciple, and,  more  exactly,  only  of  that  exemplification  of 
it  in  which  the  ground  that  gives  truth  to  the  judgment 
is  neither  empirical  nor  metaphysical,  but  logical  or  me- 
talogical.  Besides  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason  of 
knowing,  it  is  necessary  to  take  account  of  the  three  re- 
maining fundamental  laws  of  thought,  or  judgments  of 
metalogical  truth,  so  nearly  related  to  it;  and  out  of  these 
the  whole  science  of  reason  grows.  The  nature  of 
thought  proper,  that  is  to  say,  of  the  judgment  and  the 
syllogism,  must  be  exhibited  in  the  combination  of  the 
spheres  of  concepts,  according  to  the  analogy  of  the 
special  schema,  in  the  way  shown  above;  and  from  all 
this  the  rules  of  the  judgment  and  the  syllogism  are  to 
be  deduced  by  construction.  The  only  practical  use  we 
can  make  of  logic  is  in  a  debate,  when  we  can  convict  our 
antagonist  of  his  intentional  fallacies,  rather  than  of  his 
actual  mistakes,  by  giving  them  their  technical  names. 
By  thus  throwing  into  the  background  the  practical  aim 
of  logic,  and  bringing  out  its  connection  with  the  whole 
scheme  of  philosophy  as  one  of  its  chapters,  we  do  not 
think  that  we  shall  make  the  study  of  it  less  prevalent 
than  it  is  just  now.  For  at  the  present  day  every  one 
who  does  not  wish  to  remain  uncultured,  and  to  be 
numbered  with  the  ignorant  and  incompetent  multitude, 
must  study  speculative  philosophy.  For  the  nineteenth 
century  is  a  philosophical  age,  though  by  this  we  do  not 
mean  either  that  it  has  philosophy,  or  that  philosophy 
governs  it,  but  rather  that  it  is  ripe  for  philosophy,  and, 
therefore,  stands  in  need  of  it.     This  is  a  sign  of  a  high 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  61 

degree  of  civilisation,  and  indeed,  is  a  definite  stage  in 
the  culture  of  the  ages.1 

Though  logic  is  of  so  little  practical  use,  it  cannot  be 
denied  that  it  was  invented  for  practical  purposes.  It 
appears  to  me  to  have  originated  in  the  following  way : — 
As  the  love  of  debating  developed  among  the  Eleatics, 
the  Megarics,  and  the  Sophists,  and  by  degrees  became 
alrr  u  a  passion,  the  confusion  in  which  nearly  every 
debate  ended  must  have  made  them  feel  the  necessity 
of  a  method  of  procedure  as  a  guide ;  and  for  this  a 
scientific  dialectic  had  to  be  sought.  The  first  thing 
which  would  have  to  be  observed  would  be  that  both 
the  disputing  parties  should  always  be  agreed  on  some 
one  proposition,  to  which  the  disputed  points  might  be 
referred.  The  beginning  of  the  methodical  procedure 
consisted  in  this,  that  the  propositions  admitted  on  both 
sides  were  formally  stated  to  be  so,  and  placed  at  the 
head  of  the  inquiry.  But  these  propositions  were  at 
first  concerned  only  with  the  material  of  the  inquiry. 
It  was  soon  observed  that  in  the  process  of  going  back 
to  the  truth  admitted  on  both  sides,  and  of  deducing 
their  assertions  from  it,  each  party  followed  certain  forms 
and  laws  about  which,  without  any  express  agreement, 
there  was  no  difference  of  opinion.  And  from  this  it 
became  evident  that  these  must  constitute  the  peculiar 
and  natural  procedure  of  reason  itself,  the  form  of 
investigation.  Although  this  was  not  exposed  to  any 
doubt  or  difference  of  opinion,  some  pedantically 
systematic  philosopher  hit  upon  the  idea  that  it  would 
look  well,  and  be  the  completion  of  the  method  of 
dialectic,  if  this  formal  part  of  all  discussion,  this  regular 
procedure  of  reason  itself,  were  to  be  expressed  in  abstract 
propositions,  just  like  the  substantial  propositions  admitted 
on  both  sides,  and  placed  at  the  beginning  of  every 
investigation,  as  the  fixed  canon  of  debate  to  which 
reference  and   appeal  must  always   be  made.     In  this 

1  Of.  Ch.  9  and  10  of  the  Supplement. 


62  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

way  what  had  formerly  been  followed  only  by  tacit 
agreement,  and  instinctively,  would  be  consciously  re- 
cognised and  formally  expressed.  By  degrees,  more  or 
less  perfect  expressions  were  found  for  the  fundamental 
principles  of  logic,  such  as  the  principles  of  contradiction, 
sufficient  reason,  excluded  middle,  the  dictum  de  omni  et 
nullo,  as  well  as  the  special  rules  of  the  syllogism,  as  for 
example,  ex  vicris  particular ibus  aut  negativis  nihil  sequi- 
tur,  a  rationato  ad  rationem  non  valet  consequentia,  and 
so  on.  That  all  this  was  only  brought  about  slowly,  and 
with  great  pains,  and  up  till  the  time  of  Aristotle  re- 
mained very  incomplete,  is  evident  from  the  awkward 
and  tedious  way  in  which  logical  truths  are  brought  out 
in  many  of  the  Platonic  dialogues,  and  still  more  from 
what  Sextus  Empiricus  tells  us  of  the  controversies  of 
the  Megarics,  about  the  easiest  and  simplest  logical  rules, 
and  the  laborious  way  in  which  they  were  brought  into 
a  definite  form  (Sext.  Emp.  adv.  Math.  1.  8,  p.  1 1 2). 
But  Aristotle  collected,  arranged,  and  corrected  all  that 
had  been  discovered  before  his  time,  and  brought  it  to 
an  incomparably  greater  state  of  perfection.  If  we  thus 
observe  how  the  course  of  Greek  culture  had  prepared 
the  way  for,  and  led  up  to  the  work  of  Aristotle,  we 
shall  be  little  inclined  to  believe  the  assertion  of  the 
Persian  author,  quoted  by  Sir  William  Jones  with  much 
approval,  that  Kallisthenes  found  a  complete  system  of 
logic  among  the  Indians,  and  sent  it  to  his  uncle  Aris- 
totle (Asiatic  Researches,  vol.  iv.  p.  163).  It  is  easy  to 
understand  that  in  the  dreary  middle  ages  the  Aristote- 
lian logic  would  be  very  acceptable  to  the  controversial 
spirit  of  the  schoolmen,  which,  in  the  absence  of  all  real 
knowledge,  spent  its  energy  upon  mere  formulas  and 
words,  and  that  it  would  be  eagerly  adopted  even  in  its 
mutilated  Arabian  form,  and  presently  established  as  the 
centre  of  all  knowledge.  Though  its  authority  has  since 
declined,  yet  up  to  our  own  time  logic  has  retained  the 
credit  of  a  self-contained,  practical,  and  highly  important 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  63 

science.  Indeed,  in  our  own  day,  the  Kantian  philo- 
sophy, the  foundation-stone  of  which  is  taken  from  logic, 
has  excited  a  new  interest  in  it ;  which,  in  this  respect, 
at  any  rate,  that  is,  as  the  means  of  the  knowledge  of 
the  nature  of  reason,  it  deserves. 

Correct  and  accurate  conclusions  may  be  arrived  at 
if  we  carefully  observe  the  relation  of  the  spheres  of 
concepts,  and  only  conclude  that  one  sphere  is  contained 
in  a  third  sphere,  when  we  have  clearly  seen  that  this 
first  sphere  is  contained  in  a  second,  which  in  its  turn  is 
contained  in  the  third.     On  the  other  hand,  the  art  of 
sophistry  lies  in  casting  only  a  superficial  glance  at  the 
relations  of  the  spheres  of  the  concepts,  and  then  mani- 
pulating these  relations  to  suit  our  purposes,  generally 
in  the  following  way : — When  the  sphere  of  an  observed 
concept  lies  partly  within  that  of  another  concept,  and 
partly  within  a  third  altogether  different  sphere,  we  treat 
it  as  if  it  lay  entirely  within  the  one  or  the  other,  as 
may  suit  our  purpose.     For   example,    in   speaking   of 
passion,  we  may  subsume  it  under  the  concept  of  the 
greatest  force,   the   mightiest   agency   in   the   world,   or 
under  the  concept  of  the  irrational,  and  this  again  under 
the  concept  of  impotency  or  weakness.     We  may  then 
repeat  the  process,  and  start  anew  with  each  concept  to 
which  the  argument  leads  us.     A  concept  has   almost 
always  several  others,  which  partially   come    under    it, 
and  each  of  these  contains  part  of  the  sphere  of  the  first, 
but  also   includes   in  its   own  sphere  something  more, 
which  is  not  in  the  first.     But  we  draw  attention  only 
to  that  one  of  these  latter  concepts,  under  which  we 
wish  to  subsume  the  first,  and  let  the  others  remain  un- 
observed, or  keep  them  concealed.     On  the  possession  of 
this  skill  depends  the  whole  art  of  sophistry  and  all  finer 
fallacies;  for  logical  fallacies  such  as  mentions,  velatus, 
cornatus,  &c,  are  clearly  too  clumsy  for  actual  use.     I 
am  not   aware  that   hitherto   any   one    has   traced   the 
nature  of  all  sophistry  and  persuasion  back  to  this  last 


&4  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

possible  ground  of  its  existence,  and  referred  it  to  the 
peculiar  character  of  concepts,  i.e.,  to  the  procedure  of 
reason  itself.     Therefore,  as  my  exposition  has  led  me  to 
it,  though  it  is  very  easily  understood,  I  will  illustrate  it 
in  the  following  table  by  means  of  a  schema.     This  table 
is  intended  to  show  how  the  spheres  of  concepts  overlap 
each  other  at  many  points,  and  so  leave  room  for  a  passage 
from  each  concept  to  whichever  one  we  please  of  several 
other  concepts.     I  hope,  however,  that  no  one  will  be  led 
by   this  table   to  attach   more  importance  to  this  little 
explanation,  which  I  have  merely  given  in  passing,  than 
ought  to  belong  to  it,  from  the  nature  of  the  subject.     I 
have  chosen  as  an  illustration  the  concept  of  travelling. 
Its  sphere  partially  includes  four  others,  to  any  of  which 
the  sophist  may  pass  at  will ;   these  again  partly  include 
other  spheres,  several  of  them  two  or  more  at  once,  and 
through  these  the  sophist  takes  whichever  way  he  chooses, 
always  as  if  it  were  the  only  way,  till  at  last  he  reaches, 
in  good  or  evil,  whatever  end  he  may  have  in  view.     In 
passing  from  one  sphere  to  another,  it  is  only  necessary 
always  to  follow  the  direction  from  the  centre  (the  given 
chief  concept)  to  the  circumference,  and  never  to  reverse 
this  process.     Such  a  piece  of  sophistry  may  be  either 
an  unbroken  speech,  or  it  may  assume  the  strict  syl- 
logistic form,  according  to  what  is  the  weak  side  of  the 
hearer.     Most  scientific  arguments,  and  especially  philo- 
sophical demonstrations,  are   at   bottom  not  much  more 
than   this,  for  how  else  would  it  be  possible,  that  so 
much,  in  different  ages,  has  not  only  been  falsely  appre- 
hended  (for   error   itself    has    a    different    source),    but 
demonstrated  and  proved,  and  has  yet  afterwards  been 
found   to   be    fundamentally    wrong,    for    example,    the 
Leibnitz  -  Wolflan    Philosophy,    Ptolemaic    Astronomy, 
Stahl's  Chemistry,  Newton's  Theory  of  Colours,  &c.  &C.1 

§  i  o.  Through  all  this,  the  question  presses  ever  more 
upon  us,  how  certainty  is  to  be  attained,  how  judgments 

1  Cf.  Ch.  1 1  of  Supplement. 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  65 

are  to  he  established,  what  constitutes  rational  knowledge, 
{wissen),  and  science,  which  we  rank  with  language  and 
deliberate  action  as  the  third  great  benefit  conferred  by 
reason. 

Eeason  is  feminine  in  nature ;  it  can  only  give  after 
it  has  received.     Of  itself  it  has  nothing  but  the  empty 
forms  of  its  operation.      There    is    no    absolutely    pure 
rational  knowledge  except  the  four  principles  to  which 
I  have  attributed  metalogical  truth;    the   principles  of 
identity,  contradiction,  excluded  middle,  and    sufficient  y 
reason  of  knowledge.     For  even  the  rest  of  logic  is  not 
absolutely  pure  rational  knowledge.     It  presupposes  the 
relations  and  the  combinations  of  the  spheres  of  concepts. 
'[But  concepts  in  general  only  exist  after  experience  of 
j ideas  of  perception,  and  as  their  whole  nature  consists 
in  their  relation  to  these,  it  is  clear  that  they  presuppose 
them.     No  special  content,  however,  is  presupposed,  but 
merely  the  existence  of  a  content  generally,  and  so  logic 
as    a  whole  may  fairly  pass  for  pure  rational  science. 
In  all  other  sciences  reason  has  received  its  content  from 
ideas  of  perception;    in  mathematics  from  the  relations 
of  space  and  time,  presented  in  intuition  or  perception 
prior  to  all  experience ;  in  pure  natural  science,  that  is, 
in  what  we  know  of  the  course  of  nature  prior   to  any 
experience,  the  content  of  the  science  proceeds  from  the 
pure  understanding,  i.e.,  from  the  a  priori  knowledge  of 
the  law  of  causality  and  its  connection  with  those   pure 
intuitions  or  perceptions  of  space  and  time.     In  all  other 
sciences  everything  that  is  not  derived  from  the  sources 
we  have  just  referred  to  belongs  to  experience.     Speak- 
ing generally,  to  know  rationally  {wissen)  means  to  have  in 
the  power  of  the  mind,  and  capable  of  being  reproduced 
at  will,  such  judgments  as  have  their  sufficient  ground  of 
knowledge  in  something  outside  themselves,  i.e.,  are  true. 
Thus  only  abstract  cognition  is  rational  knowledge  {wissen), 
which  is  therefore  the  result  of  reason,  so  that  we  cannot 
accurately  say  of  the  lower  animals  that  they  rationally 

vol.  l  E 


66  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

know  (wissen)  anything,  although  they  have  apprehension 
of  what  is  presented  in  perception,  and  memory  of  this, 
and  consequently  imagination,  which  is  further  proved 
by  the  circumstance  that  they  dream.  We  attribute 
consciousness  to  them,  and  therefore  although  the  word 
(bewusstsein)  is  derived  from  the  verb  to  know  rationally 
(wissen),  the  conception  of  consciousness  corresponds  gene- 
rally with  that  of  idea  of  whatever  kind  it  may  be.  Thus 
we  attribute  life  to  plants,  but  not  consciousness.  Ra- 
tional knowledge  (wissen)  is  therefore  abstract  conscious- 
ness, the  permanent  possession  in  concepts. of  the  reason, 
of  what  has  become  known  in  another  way. 

§  II.  In  this  regard  the  direct  opposite  of  rational 
knowledge  is  feeling,  and  therefore  we  must  insert  the 
explanation  of  feeling  here.  The  concept  which  the 
word  feeling  denotes  has  merely  a  negative  content, 
which  is  this,  that  something  which  is  present  in  con- 
sciousness, is  not  a  concept,  is  not  abstract  rational 
knowledge.  Except  this,  whatever  it  may  be,  it  comes 
under  the  concept  of  feeling.  Thus  the  immeasurably 
wide  sphere  of  the  concept  of  feeling  includes  the  most 
different  kinds  of  objects,  and  no  one  can  ever  understand 
how  they  come  together  until  he  has  recognised  that 
they  all  agree  in  this  negative  respect,  that  they  are  not 
abstract  concepts.  For  the  most  diverse  and  even  antago- 
nistic elements  lie  quietly  side  by  side  in  this  concept; 
for  example,  religious  feeling,  feeling  of  sensual  pleasure, 
moral  feeling,  bodily  feeling,  as  touch,  pain,  sense  of 
colour,  of  sounds  and  their  harmonies  and  discords, 
feeling  of  hate,  of  disgust,  of  self-satisfaction,  of  honour, 
of  disgrace,  of  right,  of  wrong,  sense  of  truth,  aesthetic 
feeling,  feeling  of  power,  weakness,  health,  friendship, 
love,  &c.  &c.  There  is  absolutely  nothing  in  common 
among  them  except  the  negative  quality  that  they  are 
not  abstract  rational  knowledga  But  this  diversity 
becomes  more  striking  when  the  apprehension  of  space 
relations  presented  a  priori  in  perception,  and  also  the 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  67 

knowledge  of  the  pure  understanding  is  brought  under 
this  concept,  and  when  we  say  of  all  knowledge  and  all 
truth,  of  which  we  are  first  conscious  only  intuitively, 
and  have  not  yet  formulated  in  abstract  concepts,  we 
feel  it.  I  should  like,  for  the  sake  of  illustration,  to 
give  some  examples  of  this  taken  from  recent  books, 
as  they  are  striking  proofs  of  my  theory.  I  remember 
reading  in  the  introduction  to  a  German  translation  of 
Euclid,  that  we  ought  to  make  beginners  in  geometry 
draw  the  figures  before  proceeding  to  demonstrate,  for 
in  this  way  they  would  already  feel  geometrical 
truth  before  the  demonstration  brought  them  complete 
knowledge.  In  the  same  way  Schleiermacher  speaks  in 
his  "  Critique  of  Ethics "  of  logical  and  mathematical 
feeling  (p.  339),  and  also  of  the  feeling  of  the  sameness 
or  difference  of  two  formulas  (p.  342).  Again  Tenne- 
mann  in  his  "  History  of  Philosophy  "  (vol.  I.,  p.  361) 
says,  "One  felt  that  the  fallacies  were  not  right,  but 
could  not  point  out  the  mistakes."  Now,  so  long  as  we 
do  not  regard  this  concept  "feeling  "  from  the  right  point 
of  view,  and  do  not  recognise  that  one  negative  character- 
istic which  alone  is  essential  to  it,  it  must  constantly 
give  occasion  for  misunderstanding  and  controversy,  on 
account  of  the  excessive  wideness  of  its  sphere,  and  its 
entirely  negative  and  very  limited  content  which  is  de- 
termined in  a  purely  one-sided  manner.  Since  then  we 
have  in  German  the  nearly  synonymous  word  empfindung 
(sensation),  it  would  be  convenient  to  make  use  of  it  for 
bodily  feeling,  as  a  sub-species.  This  concept  "feeling," 
which  is  quite  out  of  proportion  to  all  others,  doubtless 
originated  in  the  following  manner.  All  concepts,  and 
concepts  alone,  are  denoted  by  words ;  they  exist  only 
for  the  reason,  and  proceed  from  it.  With  concepts, 
therefore,  we  are  already  at  a  one-sided  point  of  view ; 
but  from  such  a  point  of  view  what  is  near  appears 
distinct  and  is  set  down  as  positive,  what  is  farther  off 
becomes  mixed    up   and    is    soon    regarded    as    merely 


68  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

negative.  Thus  each  nation  calls  all  others  foreign :  to 
the  Greek  all  others  are  barbarians ;  to  the  Englishman 
all  that  is  not  England  or  English  is  continent  or  con- 
tinental ;  to  the  believer  all  others  are  heretics,  or 
heathens ;  to  the  noble  all  others  are  roturiers ;  to  the 
student  all  others  are  Philistines,  and  so  forth.  Now, 
reason  itself,  strange  as  it  may  seem,  is  guilty  of  the 
same  one-sidedness,  indeed  one  might  say  of  the  same 
crude  ignorance  arising  from  vanity,  for  it  classes  under 
the  one  concept,  "feeling?  every  modification  of  con- 
sciousness which  does  not  immediately  belong  to  its  own 
mode  of  apprehension,  that  is  to  say,  which  is  not  an 
abstract  concept  It  has  had  to  pay  the  penalty  of  this 
hitherto  in  misunderstanding  and  confusion  in  its  own 
province,  because  its  own  procedure  had  not  become 
clear  to  it  through  thorough  self-knowledge,  for  a  special 
faculty  of  feeling  has  been  set  up,  and  new  theories  of 
it  are  constructed. 

§  1 2.  Rational  knowledge  {wissen)  is  then  all  abstract 
knowledge, — that  is,  the  knowledge  which  is  peculiar  to 
the  reason  as  distinguished  from  the  understanding.  Its 
contradictory  opposite  has  just  been  explained  to  be  the 
concept  "  feeling."  Now,  as  reason  only  reproduces,  for 
knowledge,  what  has  been  received  in  another  way,  it 
does  not  actually  extend  our  knowledge,  but  only  gives  it 
another  form.  It  enables  us  to  know  in  the  abstract 
and  generally,  what  first  became  known  in  sense-per- 
ception, in  the  concrete.  But  this  is  much  more  important 
than  it  appears  at  first  sight  when  so  expressed.  For  it 
depends  entirely  upon  the  fact  that  knowledge  has 
become  rational  or  abstract  knowledge  {wissen),  that  it 
can  be  safely  preserved,  that  it  is  communicable  and 
susceptible  of  certain  and  wide-reaching  application  to 
practice.  Knowledge  in  the  form  of  sense-perception  is 
valid  only  of  the  particular  case,  extends  only  to  what  is 
nearest,  and  ends  with  it,  for  sensibility  and  understand- 
ing can  only  comprenend  one  object  at  a  time.     Every 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  69 

enduring,  arranged,  and  planned  activity  must  therefore 
proceed  from  principles, — that  is,  from  abstract  know- 
ledge, and  it  must  be  conducted  in  accordance  with 
them.  Thus,  for  example,  the  knowledge  of  the  relation 
of  cause  and  effect  arrived  at  by  the  understanding,  is  in 
itself  far  completer,  deeper  and  more  exhaustive  than 
anything  that  can  be  thought  about  it  in  the  abstract ; 
the  understanding  alone  knows  in  perception  directly 
and  completely  the  nature  of  the  effect  of  a  lever,  of  a 
pulley,  or  a  cog-wheel,  the  stability  of  an  arch,  and  so 
forth.  But  on  account  of  the  peculiarity  of  the  know- 
ledge of  perception  just  referred  to,  that  it  only  extends 
to  what  is  immediately  present,  the  mere  understanding 
can  never  enable  us  to  construct  machines  and  buildings. 
Here  reason  must  come  in ;  it  must  substitute  abstract 
concepts  for  ideas  of  perception,  and  take  them  as  the 
guide  ofjaction ;  and  if  they  are  right,  the  anticipated 
result  will  happen.  In  the  same  way  we  have  perfect 
knowledge  in  pure  perception  of  the  nature  and  constitu- 
tion of  the  parabola,  hyperbola,  and  spiral ;  but  if  we  are 
to  make  trustworthy  application  of  this  knowledge  to  the 
real,  it  must  first  become  abstract  knowledge,  and  by  this 
it  certainly  loses  its  character  of  intuition  or  perception, 
but  on  the  other  hand  it  gains  the  certainty  and  pre- 
ciseness  of  abstract  knowledge.  The  differential  calculus 
does  not  really  extend  our  knowledge  of  the  curve,  it  con- 
tains nothing  that  was  not  already  in  the  mere  pure 
perception  of  the  curve ;  but  it  alters  the  kind  of  know- 
ledge, it  changes  the  intuitive  into  an  abstract  knowledge, 
which  is  so  valuable  for  application.  But  here  we  must 
refer  to  another  peculiarity  of  our  faculty  of  knowledge, 
which  could  not  be  observed  until  the  distinction  between 
the  knowledge  of  the  senses  and  understanding  and 
abstract  knowledge  had  been  made  quite  clear.  It  is 
this,  that  relations  of  space  cannot  as  such  be  directly 
translated  into  abstract  knowledge,  but  only  temporal 
quantities, — that   is,  numbers,   are    suitable    for    this. 


to  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

Numbers  alone  can  be  expressed  in  abstract  concepts 
which  accurately  correspond  to  them,  not  spacial  quanti- 
ties. The  concept  "  thousand  "  is  just  as  different  from 
the  concept  "ten,"  as  both  these  temporal  quantities  are 
in  perception.  We  think  of  a  thousand  as  a  distinct 
multiple  of  ten,  into  which  we  can  resolve  it  at  pleasure 
for  perception  in  time, — that  is  to  say,  we  can  count  it. 
But  between  the  abstract  concept  of  a  mile  and  that  of  a 
foot,  apart  from  any  concrete  perception  of  either,  and 
without  the  help  of  number,  there  is  no  accurate  dis- 
tinction corresponding  to  the  quantities  themselves.  In 
both  we  only  think  of  a  spacial  quantity  in  general,  and  if 
they  must  be  completely  distinguished  we  are  compelled 
either  to  call  in  the  assistance  of  intuition  or  perception 
in  space,  which  would  be  a  departure  from  abstract 
knowledge,  or  we  must  think  the  difference  in  number*. 
If  then  we  wish  to  have  abstract  knowledge  of  space- 
relations  we  must  first  translate  them  into  time-relations, 
— that  is,  into  numbers ;  therefore  only  arithmetic,  and 
not  geometry,  is  the  universal  science  of  quantity,  and 
geometry  must  be  translated  into  arithmetic  if  it  is  to 
be  communicable,  accurately  precise  and  applicable  in 
practice.  It  is  true  that  a  space-relation  as  such  may 
also  be  thought  in  the  abstract  ;  for  example,  "  the 
sine  increases  as  the  angle,"  but  if  the  quantity  of  this 
relation  is  to  be  given,  it  requires  number  for  its  expres- 
sion. This  necessity,  that  if  we  wish  to  have  abstract 
knowledge  of  space-relations  (ie.,  rational  knowledge, 
not  mere  intuition  or  perception),  space  with  its  three 
dimensions  must  be  translated  into  time  which  has  only 
one  dimension,  this  necessity  it  is,  which  makes  mathe- 
matics so  difficult.  This  becomes  very  clear  if  we 
compare  the  perception  of  curves  with  their  analytical 
calculation,  or  the  table  of  logarithms  of  the  trigono- 
metrical functions  with  the  perception  of  the  changing 
relations  of  the  parts  of  a  triangle,  which  are  expressed  by 
them.    What  vast  mazes  of  figures,  what  laborious  calcu- 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  71 

lations  it  would  require  to  express  in  the  abstract  what 
perception  here  apprehends  at  a  glance  completely  and 
with  perfect  accuracy,  namely,  how  the  co-sine  diminishes 
as  the  sine  increases,  how  the  co-sine  of  one  angle  is  the 
sine  of  another,  the  inverse  relation  of  the  increase  and 
decrease  of  the  two  angles,  and  so  forth.  How  time,  we 
might  say,  must  complain,  that  with  its  one  dimension  it 
should  be  compelled  to  express  the  three  dimensions  of 
space !  Yet  this  is  necessary  if  we  wish  to  possess,  for 
application,  an  expression,  in  abstract  concepts,  of  space- 
relations.  They  could  not  be  translated  directly  into 
abstract  concepts,  but  only  through  the  medium  of  the 
pure  temporal  quantity,  number,  which  alone  is  directly 
related  to  abstract  knowledge.  Yet  it  is  worthy  of  re- 
mark, that  as  space  adapts  itself  so  well  to  perception, 
and  by  means  of  its  three  dimensions,  even  its  com- 
plicated relations  are  easily  apprehended,  while  it  eludes 
the  grasp  of  abstract  knowledge  ;  time,  on  the  contrary, 
passes  easily  into  abstract  knowledge,  but  gives  very  little 
to  perception.  Our  perceptions  of  numbers  in  their 
proper  element,  mere  time,  without  the  help  of  space, 
scarcely  extends  as  far  as  ten,  and  beyond  that  we  have 
only  abstract  concepts  of  numbers,  no  knowledge  of  them 
which  can  be  presented  in  perception.  On  the  other  hand, 
we  connect  with  every  numeral,  and  with  all  algebraical 
symbols,  accurately  denned  abstract  concepts. 

We  may  further  remark  here  that  some  minds  only 
find  full  satisfaction  in  what  is  known  through  percep- 
tion. What  they  seek  is  the  reason  and  consequent  of 
being  in  space,  sensuously  expressed ;  a  demonstration 
after  the  manner  of  Euclid,  or  an  arithmetical  solution  of 
spacial  problems,  does  not  please  them.  Other  minds, 
on  the  contrary,  seek  merely  the  abstract  concepts  which 
are  needful  for  applying  and  communicating  knowledge. 
They  have  patience  and  memory  for  abstract  principles, 
formulas,  demonstrations  in  long  trains  of  reasoning,  and 
calculations,  in  which  the  symbols   represent  the  most 


72  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

complicated  abstractions.  The  latter  seek  preciseness, 
the  former  sensible  perception.  The  difference  is  charac- 
teristic. 

.The  greatest  value  of  rational  or  abstract  knowledge  is 
that  it  can  be  communicated  and  permanently  retained. 
It  is  principally  on  this  account  that  it  is  so  inestimably 
important  for  practice.  Any  one  may  have  a  direct 
perceptive  knowledge  through  the  understanding  alone, 
of  the  causal  connection,  of  the  changes  and  motions  of 
natural  bodies,  and  he  may  find  entire  satisfaction  in 
it;  but  he  cannot  communicate  this  knowledge  to  others 
until  it  has  been  made  permanent  for  thought  in  concepts. 
Knowledge  of  the  first  kind  is  even  sufficient  for  practice, 
if  a  man  puts  his  knowledge  into  practice  himself,  in  an 
action  which  can  be  accomplished  while  the  perception  is 
still  vivid ;  but  it  is  not  sufficient  if  the  help  of  others 
is  required,  or  even  if  the  action  is  his  own  but  must 
be  carried  out  at  different  times,  and  therefore  requires 
a  pre-conceived  plan.  Thus,  for,  example,  a  practised 
billiard-player  may  have  a  perfect  knowledge  of  the  laws 
of  the  impact  of  elastic  bodies  upon  each  other,  merely 
in  the  understanding,  merely  for  direct  perception ;  and 
for  him  it  is  quite  sufficient ;  but  on  the  other  hand  it 
is  only  the  man  who  has  studied  the  science  of  me- 
chanics, who  has,  properly  speaking,  a  rational  knowledge 
of  these  laws,  that  is,  a  knowledge  of  them  in  the 
abstract.  Such  knowledge  of  the  understanding  in  per- 
ception is  sufficient  even  for  the  construction  of  machines, 
when  the  inventor  of  the  machine  executes  the  work 
himself;  as  we  often  see  in  the  case  of  talented  work- 
men, who  have  no  scientific  knowledge.  But  whenever  a 
number  of  men,  and  their  united  action  taking  place  at 
different  times,  is  required  for  the  completion  of  a  mechani- 
cal work,  of  a  machine,  or  a  building,  then  he  who  conducts 
it  must  have  thought  out  the  plan  in  the  abstract,  and 
such  co-operative  activity  is  only  possible  through  the 
assistance  of  reasoa     It  is,  however,  remarkable  that  in 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  73 

the  first  kind  of  activity,  in  which  we  have  supposed 
that  one  man  alone,  in  an  uninterrupted  course  of  action, 
accomplishes  something,  abstract  knowledge,  the  appli- 
cation of  reason  or  reflection,  may  often  be  a  hindrance 
to  him ;  for  example,  in  the  case  of  billiard-playing,  of 
fighting,  of  tuning  an  instrument,  or  in  the  case  of  sing- 
ing. Here  perceptive  knowledge  must  directly  guide 
action ;  its  passage  through  reflection  makes  it  uncertain, 
for  it  divides  the  attention  and  confuses  the  man.  Thus 
savages  and  untaught  men,  who  are  little  accustomed 
to  think,  perform  certain  physical  exercises,  fight  with 
beasts,  shoot  with  bows  and  arrows  and  the  like,  with  a 
certainty  and  rapidity  which  the  reflecting  European 
never  attains  to,  just  because  his  deliberation  makes  him 
hesitate  and  delay.  For  he  tries,  for  example,  to  hit  the 
right  position  or  the  right  point  of  time,  by  finding  out 
the  mean  between  two  false  extremes ;  while  the  savage 
hits  it  directly  without  thinking  of  the  false  courses  open 
to  him.  In  the  same  way  it  is  of  no  use  to  me  to  know 
in  the  abstract  the  exact  angle,  in  degrees  and  minutes, 
at  which  I  must  apply  a  razor,  if  I  do  not  know  it  in- 
tuitively, that  is,  if  I  have  not  got  it  in  my  touch.  The 
knowledge  of  physiognomy  also,  is  interfered  with  by  the 
application  of  reason.  This  knowledge  must  be  gained 
directly  through  the  understanding.  We  say  that  the 
expression,  the  meaning  of  the  features,  can  only  be 
j%5T)fchat  is,  it  cannot  be  put  into  abstract  concepts. 
Every  man  has  his  direct  intuitive  method  of  physiog- 
nomy and  pathognomy,  yet  one  man  understands  more 
clearly  than  another  these  signatura  rerum.  But  an 
abstract  science  of  physiognomy  to  be  taught  and  learned 
is  not  possible ;  for  the  distinctions  of  difference  are  here 
so  fine  that  concepts  cannot  reach  them ;  therefore  ab- 
stract knowledge  is  related  to  them  as  a  mosaic  is  to  a 
painting  by  a  Van  der  Werft  or  a  Denner.  In  mosaics, 
however  fine  they  may  be,  the  limits  of  the  stones  are 
always  there,  and  therefore  no  continuous  passage  from 


74  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

one  colour  to  another  is  possible,  and  this  is  also  the 
case  with  regard  to  concepts,  with  their  rigidity  and 
sharp  delineation ;  however  finely  we  may  divide  them 
by  exact  definition,  they  are  still  incapable  of  reaching 
the  finer  modifications  of  the  perceptible,  and  this  is  just 
what  happens  in  the  example  we  have  taken,  knowledge 
of  physiognomy.1 

This  quality  of  concepts  by  which  they  resemble  the 
stones  of  a  mosaic,  and  on  account  of  which  perception 
always  remains  their  asymptote,  is  also  the  reason  why 
nothing  good  is  produced  in  art  by  their  means.  If  the 
singer  or  the  virtuoso  attempts  to  guide  his  execution 
by  reflection  he  remains  silent.  And  this  is  equally 
true  of  the  composer,  the  painter,  and  the  poet  The 
concept  always  remains  unfruitful  in  art;  it  can  only 
direct  the  technical  part  of  it,  its  sphere  is  science.  We 
shall  consider  more  fully  in  the  third  book,  why  all  true 
art  proceeds  from  sensuous  knowledge,  never  from  the 
concept  Indeed,  with  regard  to  behaviour  also,  and 
personal  agreeableness  in  society,  the  concept  has  only  a 
negative  value  in  restraining  the  grosser  manifestations 
of  egotism  and  brutality ;  so  that  a  polished  manner  is 
its  commendable  production.  But  all  that  is  attractive, 
gracious,  charming  in  behaviour,  all  affectionateness  and 
friendliness,  must  not  proceed  from  the  concepts,  for  if  it 
does,  "  we  feel  intention,  and  are  put  out  of  tune."  All 
dissimulation  is  the  work  of  reflection;  but  it  cannot 
be  maintained  constantly  and  without  interruption :  "  nemo 

1  I  am  therefore  of  opinion  that  arched  brow  ;  but  snch  a  brow  often 
a  science  of  physiognomy  cannot,  occurs  where  there  is  no  genius.  A 
with  certainty,  go  further  than  to  clever-looking  person  may  the  more 
lay  down  a  few  quite  general  rules,  certainly  be  judged  to  be  so  the 
For  example,  the  intellectual  quali-  uglier  the  face  is ;  and  a  stupid- 
ties  are  to  be  read  in  the  forehead  looking  person  may  the  more  cer- 
and  the  eyes  ;  the  moral  qualities,  tainly  be  judged  to  be  stupid  the 
the  expression  of  will,  in  the  mouth  more  beautiful  the  face  is  ;  for 
and  lower  part  of  the  face.  The  beauty,  as  the  approximation  to  the 
forehead  and  the  eyes  interpret  each  type  of  humanity,  carries  in  and  for 
other  ;  either  of  them  seen  alone  itself  the  expression  of  mental  clear- 
can  only  be  half  understood.  Genius  ness  ;  the  opposite  is  the  case  with 
is  never  without  a  high,  broad,  finely-  ugliness,  and  so  forth. 


V 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  75 

potest  personam  diu  ferre  fictum"  says  Seneca  in  his  book 
de  dementia  ;  and  so  it  is  generally  found  out  and  loses 
its  effect.  Keason  is  needed  in  the  full  stress  of  life, 
where  quick  conclusions,  bold  action,  rapid  and  sure 
comprehension  are  required,  but  it  may  easily  spoil  all  if 
it  gains  the  upper  hand,  and  by  perplexing  hinders  the 
intuitive,  direct  discovery,  and  grasp  of  the  right  by 
simple  understanding,  and  thus  induces  irresolution. 

Lastly,    virtue    and    holiness    do    not    proceed   from 
reflection,  but  from  the  inner  depths  of  the  will,  and  its 
relation  to  knowledge.    The  exposition  of  this  belongs  to 
another  part  of  our  work ;  this,  however,  I  may  remark 
here,  that  the  dogmas  relating  to  ethics  may  be  the  same 
in  the  reason  of  whole  nations,  but  the  action  of  every 
individual  different;  and  the  converse  also  holds  good; 
action,  we  say,  is  guided  by  feelings, — that  is,  simply  not 
by    concepts,   but    as   a   matter   of  fact   by  the  ethical 
character.     Dogmas  occupy  the  idle  reason;  but  action 
in   the   end    pursues   its   own   course  independently  of 
them,    generally    not    according    to   abstract  rules,   but 
according  to  unspoken  maxims,  the  expression  of  which 
is  the  whole  man  himself.     Therefore,  however  different 
the  religious  dogmas  of  nations  may  be,  yet  in  the  case 
of  all    of  them,  a  good  action  is   accompanied  by    un- 
speakable   satisfaction,    and  a    bad    action    by    endless 
remorse.     No  mockery  can  shake  the  former ;  no  priest's 
absolution  can  deliver  from  the  latter.     Notwithstanding 
this,  we   must  allow,  that  for  the  pursuit  of  a  virtuous 
life,  the  application  of  reason  is  needful ;  only  it  is  not 
its  source,  but  has  the  subordinate  function  of  preserving 
resolutions  which  have  been  made,  of  providing  maxims 
to  withstand  the  weakness  of  the  moment,  and  give  con- 
sistency to  action.     It  plays  the  same  part  ultimately 
in  art  also,  where  it  has  just  as  little  to  do  with  the 
essential  matter,  but  assists  in  carrying  it  out,  for  genius 
is  not  always  at  call,  and  yet  the  work  must  be  com- 
pleted in  all  its  parts  and  rounded  off  to  a  whole.1 
1  Cf.  Ch.  7  of  the  Supplement 


76  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

§  13.  All  these  discussions  of  the  advantages  and  dis- 
advantages of  the  application  of  reason  are  intended  to 
show,  that  although  abstract  rational  knowledge  is  the 
reflex  of  ideas  of  perception,  and  is  founded  on  them,  it 
is  by  no  means  in  such  entire  congruity  with  them  that 
it  could  everywhere   take  their  place:  indeed  it  never 
corresponds  to  them  quite  accurately.     And  thus,  as  we 
have  seen,  many  human  actions  can  only  be  performed 
by  the  help  of  reason  and  deliberation,  and  yet  there  are 
some  which  are  better  performed  without  its  assistance. 
This   very   incongruity  of   sensuous  and  abstract  know- 
ledge, on  account   of   which   the   latter  always   merely 
approximates   to  the  former,  as  mosaic  approximates  to 
painting,  is  the  cause  of  a  very  remarkable  phenomenon 
which,  like   reason  itself,  is  peculiar  to  human  nature, 
and  of  which  the  explanations  that  have  ever  anew  been 
attempted,  are  insufficient:  I  mean  laughter.    On  account 
of  the  source  of  this  phenomenon,  we  cannot  avoid  giving 
the  explanation  of  it  here,  though  it  again  interrupts  the 
course  of  our  work  to  do  so.     The  cause  of  laughter  in  | 
every  case  is  simply  the  sudden  perception  of  the  incon- 
gruity  between   a   concept  and  the  real  objects  which 
have    been    thought   through   it  in   some   relation,  and 
laughter  itself  is  just  the  expression  of  this  incongruity. 
It  often  occurs  in  this  way :  two  or  more  real  objects  are 
thought  through  one  concept,  and  the  identity  of  the  con- 
cept  is    transferred    to   the   objects;    it  then    becomes 
strikingly    apparent    from    the    entire  difference  of  the 
objects   in    other   respects,  that   the  concept   was    only 
applicable  to  them  from  a  one-sided  point  of  view.     It 
occurs  just  as  often,  however,  that  the  incongruity  between 
a  single  real  object  and  the  concept  under  which,  from 
one    point    of   view,  it    has   rightly  been  subsumed,  is 
suddenly  felt.     Now  the  more  correct  the  subsumption 
of  such  objects  under  a  concept  may  be  from  one  point 
of  view,  and  the  greater  and  more  glaring  their  incon- 
gruity with  it,  from  another  point  of  view,  the  greater  is 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  77 

the  ludicrous  effect  which  is  produced  by  this  con- 
trast. All  laughter  then  is  occasioned  by  a  paradox,  and 
therefore  by  unexpected  subsumption,  whether  this  is 
expressed  in  words  or  in  actions.  This,  briefly  stated,  is 
the  true  explanation  of  the  ludicrous. 

I  shall  not  pause  here  to  relate  anecdotes  as  examples 
to  illustrate  my  theory ;  for  it  is  so  simple  and  compre- 
hensible that  it  does  not  require  them,  and  everything 
ludicrous  which  the  reader  may  remember  is  equally 
valuable  as  a  proof  of  it.  But  the  theory  is  confirmed 
and  illustrated  by  distinguishing  two  species  into  which 
the  ludicrous  is  divided,  and  which  result  from  the 
theory.  Either,  we  have  previously  known  two  or  more 
very  different  real  objects,  ideas  of  sense-perception,  and 
have  intentionally  identified  them  through  the  unity  of  a 
concept  which  comprehends  them  both ;  this  species  of 
the  ludicrous  is  called  wit.  Or,  conversely,  the  concept 
is  first  present  in  knowledge,  and  we  pass  from  it  to 
reality,  and  to  operation  upon  it,  to  action:  objects 
which  in  other  respects  are  fundamentally  different,  but 
which  are  all  thought  in  that  one  concept,  are  now 
regarded  and  treated  in  the  same  way,  till,  to  the  sur- 
prise and  astonishment  of  the  person  acting,  the  great 
difference  of  their  other  aspects  appears  :  this  species  of  the 
ludicrous  is  called  folly.  Therefore  everything  ludicrous 
is  either  a  flash  of  wit  or  a  foolish  action,  according  as 
the  procedure  has  been  from  the  discrepancy  of  the 
objects  to  the  identity  of  the  concept,  or  the  converse  ; 
the  former  always  intentional,  the  latter  always  unin- 
tentional, and  from  without.  To  seem  to  reverse  the 
starting-point,  and  to  conceal  wit  with  the  mask  of  folly, 
is  the  art  of  the  jester  and  the  clown.  Being  quite  aware 
of  the  diversity  of  the  objects,  the  jester  unites  them, 
with  secret  wit,  under  one  concept,  and  then  starting 
from  this  concept  he  receives  from  the  subsequently 
discovered  diversity  of  the  objects  the  surprise  which 
he  himself  prepared,      It   follows  from  this   short  but 


78  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

sufficient  theory  0f  the  ludicrous,  that,  if  we  set  aside  the 
last  case,  that  of  the  jester,  wit  must  always  show  itself 
in  words,  folly  generally  in  actions,  though  also  in  words 
when  it  only  expresses  an  intention  and  does  not  actually 
carry  *  out,  or  when  „  ghoW8  ^  me        ^  J 

and  opinions. 

iWrafty  is  a  form  of  folly.     It  arises  in  this  way  a 
man    lacks  confidence  in   his  own  understanding,   and 
therefor*  does  not  wish  to  trust  to  it,  to  recognis°e  what 
« right  directly  in  the  particular  case.     He,  therefore, 
puts   it  entirely  under  the  control  of  the  reason,  and 
seeks   to  be  guided  by  reason  in  everything;  that  is  to 
ay,  he   tries  always  to  proceed  from  general  concepts, 
rules,   and   maxims,   and   to   confine  himself  strictly  to 
them  m  hie,  in  art,  and  even  in  moral  conduct     Hence 
that  clinging  to  the   form,   to  the  manner,  to  the  ex- 
pression and  word  which  is  characteristic  of  pedantry 
and  which  with  it  takes  the  place  of  the  real  naturelf 
he  matter.     The  incongruity  then  between  the  concept 
and   reality   soon   shows   itself   here,    and   it   becomes 
evident  that  the  former  never  condescends  to  the  Tar- 
icnlar    case,  and    that   with  its    generality    and    rigid 
defimteness   it  can  never  accurately  apply  to  the  fine 

of  the  '7  f  ^fT  8nd  ----ble'modification 
of  the  actual.     Therefore,  the  pedant,  with  his  general 
maxims,  almost  always  misses  the  mark  in  life   shows 
Wei    to   be   foolish,   awkward,    useless.      In  'arl    2 
whmh  the  concept  is  unfruitful,  he  produces  lifeless,  stiff 

™L%mTnr-     EV6n  W"h  r<*ard  'o  ethic,  the 
purpose  to  act  rightly  or  nobly  cannot  always  be  carried 

ZL'V  ^  ,with  abstr^  maxima;  for  in  many 

cases  the  excessively  nice  distinctions  in  the  nature  of 
the  circumstances  necessitate  a  choice  of  the  right  pro- 
ceeding directly  from  the  character;  for  the  application 
of  mere  abstract  maxims  sometimes  gives  false  results, 
because  the  maxims  only  half  apply;  and  sometimes 
cannot  be  carried  out,  because  they  are  foreign  to  the 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  79 

individual  character  of  the  actor,  and  this  never  allows 
itself  to  be  entirely  discovered ;  therefore,  inconsistencies 
arise.  Since  then  Kant  makes  it  a  condition  of  the 
moral  worth  of  an  action,  that  it  shall  proceed  from  pure 
rational  abstract  maxims,  without  any  inclination  or 
momentary  emotion,  we  cannot  entirely  absolve  him 
from  the  reproach  of  encouraging  moral  pedantry. 
This  reproach  is  the  significance  of  Schiller's  epigram, 
entitled  "  Scruples  of  Conscience."  When  we  speak, 
especially  in  connection  with  politics,  of  doctrinaires, 
theorists,  savants,  and  so  forth,  we  mean  pedants,  that  is, 
persons  who  know  the  things  well  in  the  abstract,  but  not 
in  the  concrete.  Abstraction  consists  in  thinking  away 
the  less  general  predicates ;  but  it  is  precisely  upon  these 
that  so  much  depends  in  practice. 

To  complete  our  theory  it  remains  for  us  to  mention  a 
spurious  kind  of  wit,  the  play  upon  words,  the  calembourg, 
the  pun,  to  which  may  be  added  the  equivocation,  the 
double  entendre,  the  chief  use  of  which  is  the  expression 
of  what  is  obscene.  Just  as  the  witticism  brings  two 
very  different  real  objects  under  one  concept,  the  pun 
brings  two  different  concepts,  by  the  assistance  of 
accident,  under  one  word.  The  same  contrast  appears, 
only  familiar  and  more  superficial,  because  it  does  not 
spring  from  the  nature  of  things,  but  merely  from  the 
accident  of  nomenclature.  In  the  case  of  the  witticism 
the  identity  is  in  the  concept,  the  difference  in  the 
reality,  but  in  the  case  of  the  pun  the  difference  is  in 
the  concepts  and  the  identity  in  the  reality,  for  the 
terminology  is  here  the  reality.  It  would  only  be  a  some- 
what far-fetched  comparison  if  we  were  to  say  that  the 
pun  is  related  to  the  witticism  as  the  parabola  (sic)  of 
the  upper  inverted  cone  to  that  of  the  lower.  The  mis- 
understanding of  the  word  or  the  quid  pro  quo  is  the 
unintentional  pun,  and  is  related  to  it  exactly  as  folly  is 
to  wit.  Thus  the  deaf  man  often  affords  occasion  for 
laughter,  just  as  much  as  the  fool,  and  inferior  writers 


80  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

of  comedy  often  use  the  former  for  the  latter  to  raise  a 
laugh. 

I  have  treated  laughter  here  only  from  the  psychical 
side ;  with  regard  to  the  physical  side,  I  refer  to  what  is 
said  on  the  subject  in  the  "  Parerga,"  vol.  II.  ch.  vi.,  §  98.1 

§  14.  By  means  of  these  various  discussions  it  is 
hoped  that  both  the  difference  and  the  relation  between 
the  process  of  knowledge  that  belongs  to  the  reason, 
rational  knowledge,  the  concept  on  the  one  hand,  and  the 
direct  knowledge  in  purely  sensuous,  mathematical  intui- 
tion or  perception,  and  apprehension  by  the  understand- 
ing on  the  other  hand,  has  been  clearly  brought  out. 
This  remarkable  relation  of  our  kinds  of  knowledge  led 
us  almost  inevitably  to  give,  in  passing,  explanations  of 
feeling  and  of  laughter,  but  from  all  this  we  now  turn  back 
to  the  further  consideration  of  science  as  the  third  great 
benefit  which  reason  confers  on  man,  the  other  two  beinsr 
speech  and  deliberate  action.  The  general  discussion  of 
science  which  now  devolves  upon  us,  will  be  concerned 
partly  with  its  form,  partly  with  the  foundation  of  its 
judgments,  and  lastly  with  its  content. 

We  have  seen  that,  with  the  exception  of  the  basis  of 
pure  logic,  rational  knowledge  in  general  has  not  its 
source  in  the  reason  itself;  but  having  been  otherwise 
obtained  as  knowledge  of  perception,  it  is  stored  up  in 
the  reason,  for  through  reason  it  has  entirely  changed  its 
character,  and  has  become  abstract  knowledge.  All 
rational  knowledge,  that  is,  knowledge  that  has  been 
raised  to  consciousness  in  the  abstract,  is  related  to 
science  strictly  so  called,  as  a  fragment  to  the  whole. 
Every  one  has  gained  a  rational  knowledge  of  many 
different  things  through  experience,  through  considera- 
tion of  the  individual  objects  presented  to  him,  but  only 
he  who  sets  himself  the  task  of  acquiring  a  complete 
knowledge  in  the  abstract  of  a  particular  class  of  objects, 
strives  after  science.     This  class  can  only  be  marked  off 

1  Cf.  Ch.  8  of  Supplement 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  81 

by  means  of  a  concept ;  therefore,  at  the  beginning  of 
every  science  there  stands  a  concept,  and  by  means  of 
it  the  class  of  objects  concerning  which  this  science 
promises  a  complete  knowledge  in  the  abstract,  is  separ- 
ated in  thought  from  the  whole  world  of  things.  For 
example,  the  concept  of  space-relations,  or  of  the  action 
of  unorganised  bodies  upon  each  other,  or  of  the  nature 
of  plants,  or  of  animals,  or  of  the  successive  changes  of 
the  surface  of  the  globe,  or  of  the  changes  of  the  human 
race  as  a  whole,  or  of  the  construction  of  a  language, 
and  so  forth.  If  science  sought  to  obtain  the  know- 
ledge of  its  object,  by  investigating  each  individual  thing 
that  is  thought  through  the  concept,  till  by  degrees 
it  had  learned  the  whole,  no  human  memory  would  be 
equal  to  the  task,  and  no  certainty  of  completeness  would 
be  obtainable.  Therefore,  it  makes  use  of  that  property 
of  concept-spheres  explained  above,  that  they  include 
each  other,  and  it  concerns  itself  mainly  with  the  wider 
spheres  which  lie  within  the  concept  of  its  object  in 
general.  When  the  relations  of  these  spheres  to  each 
other  have  been  determined,  all  that  is  thought  in  them 
is  also  generally  determined,  and  can  now  be  more  and 
more  accurately  determined  by  the  separation  of  smaller 
and  smaller  concept-spheres.  In  this  way  it  is  possible 
for  a  science  to  comprehend  its  object  completely.  This 
path  which  it  follows  to  knowledge,  the  path  from  the 
general  to  the  particular,  distinguishes  it  from  ordinary 
rational  knowledge ;  therefore,  systematic  form  is  an 
essential  and  characteristic  feature  of  science.  The 
combination  of  the  most  general  concept- spheres  of  every 
science,  that  is,  the  knowledge  of  its  first  principles,  is 
the  indispensable  condition  of  mastering  it ;  how  far  we 
advance  from  these  to  the  more  special  propositions  is  a 
matter  of  choice,  and  does  not  increase  the  thoroughness 
but  only  the  extent  of  our  knowledge  of  the  science. 
The  number  of  the  first  principles  to  which  all  the  rest 
are  subordinated,  varies  greatly  in  the  different  sciences, 
vol  1.  F 


82  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

so  that  in  some  there  is  more  subordination,  in  others 
more  co-ordination ;  and  in  this  respect,  the  former  make 
greater  claims  upon  the  judgment,  the  latter  upon  the 
memory.  It  was  known  to  the  schoolmen,1  that,  as  the 
syllogism  requires  two  premises,  no  science  can  proceed 
from  a  single  first  principle  which  cannot  be  the  subject 
of  further  deduction,  but  must  have  several,  at  least  two. 
The  specially  classifying  sciences :  Zoology,  Botany,  and 
also  Physics  and  Chemistry,  inasmuch  as  they  refer  all 
inorganic  action  to  a  few  fundamental  forces,  have  most 
subordination ;  history,  on  the  other  hand,  has  really  none 
at  all ;  for  the  general  in  it  consists  merely  in  the  survey 
of  the  principal  periods,  from  which,  however,  the  parti- 
cular events  cannot  be  deduced,  and  are  only  subordinated 
to  them  according  to  time,  but  according  to  the  concept 
are  co-ordinate  with  them.  Therefore,  history,  strictly 
speaking,  is  certainly  rational  knowledge,  but  is  not 
science.  In  mathematics,  according  to  Euclid's  treat- 
ment, the  axioms  alone  are  indemonstrable  first  principles, 
and  all  demonstrations  are  in  gradation  strictly  subor- 
dinated to  them.  But  this  method  of  treatment  is  not 
essential  to  mathematics,  and  in  fact  each  proposition 
introduces  quite  a  new  space  construction,  which  in  itself 
is  independent  of  those  which  precede  it,  and  indeed  can 
be  completely  comprehended  from  itself,  quite  independ- 
ently of  them,  in  the  pure  intuition  or  perception  of 
space,  in  which  the  most  complicated  construction  is  just 
as  directly  evident  as  the  axiom ;  but  of  this  more  fully 
hereafter.  Meanwhile  every  mathematical  proposition  re- 
mains always  a  universal  truth,  which  is  valid  for  innumer- 
able particular  cases ;  and  a  graduated  process  from  the 
simple  to  the  complicated  propositions  which  are  to  be 
deduced  from  them,  is  also  essential  to  mathematics;  there- 
fore, in  every  respect  mathematics  is  a  science.  The  com- 
pleteness of  a  science  as  such,  that  is,  in  respect  of  form, 
consists  in  there  being  as  much  subordination  and  as  little 

1  Suarez,  Disput.  Metaphysics,  disp.  iii.  sect.  3,  tit.  3. 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  83 

co-ordination   of  the   principles   as   possible.      Scientific 
talent  in  general  is,  therefore,  the  faculty  of  subordinating 
the  concept-spheres  according  to  their  different  determina- 
tions, so  that,  as  Plato  repeatedly  counsels,  a  science  shall 
not  be  constituted  by  a  general  concept  and  an  indefinite 
multiplicity  immediately  under  it,  but  that  knowledge 
shall  descend  by  degrees  from  the  general  to  the  par- 
ticular,   through    intermediate    concepts    and    divisions, 
according  to  closer  and  closer  definitions.      In  Kantian 
language   this   is   called   satisfying   equally    the  law   of 
homogeneity  and  that  of   specification.     It  arises  from 
this  peculiar  nature  of  scientific  completeness,  that  the 
aim  of  science  is   not  greater   certainty — for   certainty 
may  be  possessed  in  just  as  high  a  degree  by  the  most 
disconnected  particular  knowledge — but  its  aim  is  rather 
the  facilitating  of  rational  knowledge  by  means  of  its 
form,  and  the  possibility  of  the  completeness  of  rational 
knowledge  which  this  form  affords.     It  is  therefore   a 
very  prevalent  but  perverted  opinion  that  the  scientific 
character  of  knowledge  consists  in  its  greater  certainty, 
and  just  as  false  is  the  conclusion  following  from  this, 
that,  strictly  speaking,  the  only  sciences  are  mathematics 
and  logic,  because  only  in  them,   on   account   of  their 
purely  a  priori  character,  is  there  unassailable  certainty 
of  knowledge.     This  advantage  cannot  be  denied  them, 
but  it  gives  them  no  special  claim  to  be   regarded  as 
sciences  ;    for  the  special  characteristic  of  science  does 
not  lie  in  certainty  but  in  the  systematic  form  of  know- 
ledge, based  on  the  gradual   descent  from  the  general 
to  the  particular.     The  process  of  knowledge  from  the 
general  to  the  particular,  which  is  peculiar  to  the  sciences, 
involves  the  necessity  that  in  the  sciences  much  should 
be  established  by  deduction  from  preceding  propositions, 
that  is  to  say,  by  demonstration ;  and  this  has  given  rise 
to  the  old  mistake  that  only  what  has  been  demonstrated  is 
absolutely  true,  and  that  every  truth  requires  a  demons- 
tration ;  whereas,  on  the  contrary,  every  demonstration 


g4  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

requires  an  undemonstrated  truth,  which  ultimately  sup- 
ports it,  or  it  may  be,  its  own  demonstration.     Therefore 
a  directly  established  truth  is  as  much  to  be  preferred  to 
a  truth  established  by  demonstration  as  water  from  the 
spring  is  to  water  from  the  aqueduct.     Egrception,  partly 
pure  a  priori,  as  it  forms  the  basis  of  mathematics,  partly 
empirical  a  posterim,  as  it  forms  the  basis  of  all  the  other 
sciences,  is  the  source  of  all  truth  and  the  foundation  of 
all  science.     (Logic  alone  is  to  be  excepted,  which  is  not 
founded  upon  perception  but  yet  upon  direct  knowledge 
by  the  reason  of  its  own  laws.)     Not  the  demonstrated 
judgments  nor  their  demonstrations,  but  judgments  which 
are  created  directly  out  of  perception,  and  founded  upon 
it  rather  than  on  any  demonstrations,  are  to  science  what 
the  sun  is  to  the  world  ;  for  all  light  proceeds  from  them, 
end  lighted  by  their  light  the  others  give  light  also.     To, 
QstabUsh  the  truth  of  such  primary  judgments  directly 
from  perception,  to  raise  such  strongholds  of  science  from 
the  innumerable  multitude  of  real  objects,  that  is  the 
work  of  the  faculty  of  judgment,  which  consists  in  the 
power  of  rightly  and  accurately  carrying  over  into  abstract 
consciousness  what  is  known  in  perception,  and  judgment 
is  consequently  the  mediator  between  understanding  and 
reason.      Only  extraordinary  and  exceptional  strength  of 
judgment  in  the  individual  can  actually  advance  science ; 
but  every  one  who  is  possessed  of  a  healthy  reason  is  able 
to  deduce  propositions  from  propositions,  to  demonstrate, 
to  draw  conclusions.     To  lay  down  and  make  permanent 
for  reflection,  in  suitable  concepts,  what  is  known  through 
perception,  so  that,  on  the  one  hand,  what  is  common  to 
many  real  objects  is  thought  through  one  concept,  and, 
on  the  other  hand,  their  points  of  difference  are  each 
thought  through  one  concept,  so  that  the  different  shall 
be  known  and  thought  as  different  in  spite  of  a  partial 
agreement,  and  the  identical  shall  be  known  and  thought 
as  identical  in  spite  of  a  partial  difference,  all  in  accord- 
ance with  the  end   and  intention  which   in   each   case 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  85 

is  in  view ;  all  this  is  done  by  the  faculty  of  judgment. 
Deficiency  in  judgment  is  silliness.  The  silly  man  fails 
to  grasp,  now  the  partial  or  relative  difference  of  con- 
cepts which  in  one  aspect  are  identical,  now  the  identity 
of  concepts  which  are  relatively  or  partially  different.  To 
this  explanation  of  the  faculty  of  judgment,  moreover, 
Kant's  division  of  it  into  reflecting  and  subsuming  judg- 
ment may  be  applied,  according  as  it  passes  from  the 
perceived  objects  to  the  concepts,  or  from  the  latter  to 
the  former ;  in  both  cases  always  mediating  between  em- 
pirical knowledge  of  the  understanding  and  the  reflective 
knowledge  of  the  reason.  There  can  be  no  truth  which 
could  be  brought  out  by  means  of  syllogisms  alone ; 
and  the  necessity  of  establishing  truth  by  means  of 
syllogisms  is  merely  relative,  indeed  subjective.  Since  all 
demonstration  is  syllogistic,  in  the  case  of  a  new  truth 
we  must  first  seek,  not  for  a  demonstration,  but  for  direct 
evidence,  and  only  in  the  absence  of  such  evidence  is  a 
demonstration  to  be  temporarily  made  use  of.  No  science 
is  susceptible  of  demonstration  throughout  any  more  than 
a  building  can  stand  in  the  air;  all  its  demonstrations 
must  ultimately  rest  upon  what  is  perceived,  and  conse- 
quently cannot  be  demonstrated,  for  the  whole  world 
of  reflection  rests  upon  and  is  rooted  in  the  world  of 
perception.  All  primal,  that  is,  original,  evidence  is  a 
perception,  as  the  word  itself  indicates.  Therefore  it 
is  either  empirical  or  founded  upon  the  perception  a 
priori  of  the  conditions  of  possible  experience.  In  both 
cases  it  affords  only  immanent,  not  transcendent  know- 
ledge. Every  concept  has  its  worth  and  its  existence 
only  in  its  relation,  sometimes  very  indirect,  to  an  idea 
of  perception ;  what  is  true  of  the  concepts  is  also  true 
of  the  judgments  constructed  out  of  them,  and  of  all 
science.  Therefore  it  must  in  some  way  be  possible  to 
know  directly  without  demonstrations  or  syllogisms  every 
truth  that  is  arrived  at  through  syllogisms  and  communi- 
cated by  demonstrations.     This  is  most  difficult  in  the 


■  7 


v- 


86  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

case  of  certain  complicated  mathematical  propositions 
at  which  we  only  arrive  by  chains  of  syllogisms;  for 
example,  the  calculation  of  the  chords  and  tangents  to 
all  arcs  by  deduction  from  the  proposition  of  Pythagoras. 
But  even  such  a  truth  as  this  cannot  essentially  and 
solely  rest  upon  abstract  principles,  and  the  space-rela- 
tions which  lie  at  its  foundation  also  must  be  capable  of 
being  so  presented  a  prion  in  pure  intuition  or  perception 
that  the  truth  of  their  abstract  expression  is  directly 
established.  But  of  mathematical  demonstration  we  shall 
speak  more  fully  shortly. 

It  is  true  we  often  hear  men  speak  in  a  lofty  strain 
of  sciences  which  rest  entirely  upon  correct  conclusions 
drawn  from  sure  premises,  and  which  are  consequently 
unassailable.  But  through  pure  logical  reasoning,  how- 
ever true  the  premises  may  be,  we  shall  never  receive 
more  than  an  articulate  expression  and  exposition  of 
what  lies  already  complete  in  the  premises ;  thus  we 
shall  only  explicitly  expound  what  was  already  implicitly 
understood.  The  esteemed  sciences  referred  to  are, 
however,  specially  the  mathematical  sciences,  particularly 
astronomy.  But  the  certainty  of  astronomy  arises  from 
the  fact  that  it  has  for  its  basis  the  intuition  or  percep- 
tion of  space,  which  is  given  a  priori,  and  is  therefore 
infallible.  All  space-relations,  however,  follow  from 
each  other  with  a  necessity  (ground  of  being)  which 
affords  a  priori  certainty,  and  they  can  therefore  be 
safely  deduced  from  each  other.  To  these  mathematical 
properties  we  have  only  to  add  one  force  of  nature, 
gravity,  which  acts  precisely  in  relation  to  the  masses 
and  the  square  of  the  distance ;  and,  lastly,  the  law  of 
inertia,  which  follows  from  the  law  of  causality  and  is 
therefore  true  a  priori,  and  with  it  the  empirical  datum 
of  the  motion  impressed,  once  for  all,  upon  each  of  these 
masses.  This  is  the  whole  material  of  astronomy,  which 
both  by  its  simplicity  and  its  certainty  leads  to  definite 
results,  which  are  highly  interesting  on  account  of  the 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  87 

vastuess  and  importance  of  the  objects.  For  example,  if 
I  know  the  mass  of  a  planet  and  the  distance  of  its 
satellite  from  it,  I  can  tell  with  certainty  the  period  of 
the  revolution  of  the  latter  according  to  Kepler's  second 
law.  But  the  ground  of  this  law  is,  that  with  this 
distance  only  this  velocity  will  both  chain  the  satellite  to 
the  planet  and  prevent  it  from  falling  into  it  Thus  it  is 
only  upon  such  a  geometrical  basis,  that  is,  by  means  of 
an  intuition  or  perception  a  priori,  and  also  under  the 
application  of  a  law  of  nature,  that  much  can  be  arrived 
at  by  means  of  syllogisms,  for  here  they  are  merely  like 
bridges  from  one  sensuous  apprehension  to  others  ;  but  it 
is  not  so  with  mere  pure  syllogistic  reasoning  in  the 
exclusively  logical  method.  The  source  of  the  first 
fundamental  truths  of  astronomy  is,  however,  properly 
induction,  that  is,  the  comprehension  of  what  is  given 
in  many  perceptions  in  one  true  and  directly  founded 
judgment.  From  this,  hypotheses  are  afterwards  con- 
structed, and  their  confirmation  by  experience,  as  induc- 
tion approaching  to  completeness,  affords  the  proof  of  the 
first  judgment.  For  example,  the  apparent  motion  of 
the  planets  is  known  empirically;  after  many  false 
hypotheses  with  regard  to  the  spacial  connection  of  this 
motion  (planetary  course)  the  right  one  was  at  last  found, 
then  the  laws  which  it  obeyed  (the  laws  of  Kepler),  and, 
lastly,  the  cause  of  these  laws  (universal  gravitation), 
and  the  empirically  known  agreement  of  all  observed 
cases  with  the  whole  of  the  hypotheses,  and  with  their 
consequences,  that  is  to  say,  induction,  established  them 
with  complete  certainty.  The  invention  of  the  hy- 
potheses was  the  work  of  the  judgment,  which  rightly 
comprehended  the  given  facts  and  expressed  them 
accordingly ;  but  induction,  that  is,  a  multitude  of  per- 
ceptions, confirmed  their  truth.  But  their  truth  could 
also  be  known  directly,  and  by  a  single  empirical  percep- 
tion, if  we  could  pass  freely  through  space  and  had 
telescopic  eyes.     Therefore,  here  also  syllogisms  are  not 


88  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

the  essential  and  only  source  of  knowledge,  but  really 
only  a  makeshift. 

As  a  third  example  taken  from  a  different  sphere  we 
may  mention  that  the  so-called  metaphysical  truths,  that 
is,  such  truths  as  those  to  which  Kant  assigns  the 
position  of  the  metaphysical  first  principles  of  natural 
science,  do  not  owe  their  evidence  to  demonstration. 
What  is  a  priori  certain  we  know  directly ;  as  the  form 
of  all  knowledge,  it  is  known  to  us  with  the  most  complete 
necessity.  For  example,  that  matter  is  permanent,  that  is, 
can  neither  come  into  being  nor  pass  away,  we  know  directly 
as  negative  truth ;  for  our  pure  intuition  or  perception  of 
space  and  time  gives  the  possibility  of  motion ;  in  the 
law  of  causality  the  understanding  affords  us  the  possi- 
bility of  change  of  form  and  quality,  but  we  lack  powers 
of  the  imagination  for  conceiving  the  coming  into  being 
or  passing  away  of  matter.  Therefore  that  truth  has  at 
all  times  been  evident  to  all  men  everywhere,  nor  has 
it  ever  been  seriously  doubted  ;  and  this  could  not  be  the 
case  if  it  had  no  other  ground  of  knowledge  than  the 
abstruse  and  exceedingly  subtle  proof  of  Kant.  But 
besides  this,  I  have  found  Kant's  proof  to  be  false  (as  is 
explained  in  the  Appendix),  and  have  shown  above  that 
the  permanence  of  matter  is  to  be  deduced,  not  from 
the  share  which  time  has  in  the  possibility  of  experience, 
but  from  the  share  which  belongs  to  space.  r£he  true 
foundation  of  all  truths  which  in  this  sense  are  called 
metaphysical,  that  is,  abstract  expressions  of  the  neces- 
sary and  universal  forms  of  knowledge,  cannot  itself  lie 
in  abstract  principles ;  but  only  in  the  immediate  con- 
sciousness of  the  forms  of  the  idea  communicating  itself 
in  apodictic  assertions  a  priori,  and  fearing  no  refutation. 
But  if  we  yet  desire  to  give  a  proof  of  them,  it  can  only 
.  consist  in  showing  that  what  is  to  be  proved  is  contained 
in  some  truth  about  which  there  is  no  doubt,  either  as  a 
part  of  it  or  as  a  presupposition.  Thus,  for  example, 
1  have  shown  that  all  empirical  perception  implies  the 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  89 

application  of  the  law  of  causality,  the  knowledge  of 
which  is  hence  a  condition  of  all  experience,  and  there- 
fore cannot  be  first  given  and  conditioned  through  ex- 
perience as  Hume  thought.  Demonstrations  in  general  /\j 
are  not  so  much  for  those  who  wish  to  learn  as  for  those 
who  wish  to  dispute.  Such  persons  stubbornly  deny 
directly  established  insight ;  now  only  the  truth  can  be 
consistent  in  all  directions,  and  therefore  we  must  show 
such  persons  that  they  admit  under  one  form  and 
indirectly,  what  they  deny  under  another  form  and 
directly;  that  is,  the  logically  necessary  connection 
between  what  is  denied  and  what  is  admitted. 

It  is  also  a  consequence  of  the  scientific  form,  the 
subordination  of  everything  particular  under  a  general, 
and  so  on  always  to  what  is  more  general,  that  the  truth 
of  many  propositions  is  only  logically  proved, — that  is, 
through  their  dependence  upon  other  propositions,  through 
syllogisms,  which  at  the  same  time  appear  as  proofs. 
But  we  must  never  forget  that  this  whole  form  of  science 
is  merely  a  means  of  rendering  knowledge  more  easy,  not 
a  means  to  greater  certainty.  It  is  easier  to  discover  the 
nature  of  an  animal,  by  means  of  the  species  to  which 
it  belongs,  and  so  on  through  the  genus,  family,  order, 
and  class,  than  to  examine  on  every  occasion  the  animal 
presented  to  us :  but  the  truth  of  all  propositions  arrived 
at  syllogistically  is  always  conditioned  by  and  ultimately 
dependent  upon  some  truth  which  rests  not  upon  reason- 
ing but  upon  perception.  If  this  perception  were  always 
as  much  within  our  reach  as  a  deduction  through  syllo- 
gisms, then  it  would  be  in  every  respect  preferable.  For 
every  deduction  from  concepts  is  exposed  to  great  danger 
of  error,  on  account  of  the  fact  we  have  considered  above, 
that  so  many  spheres  lie  partly  within  each  other,  and 
that  their  content  is  often  vague  or  uncertain.  This  is 
illustrated  by  a  multitude  of  demonstrations  of  false 
doctrines  and  sophisms  of  every  kind.  Syllogisms  are 
indeed  perfectly  certain  as  regards  form,  but  they  are 


9o  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

very  uncertain  on  account  of  their  matter,  the  concepts. 
For,  on  the  one  hand,  the  spheres  of  these  are  not 
sufficiently  sharply  defined,  and,  on  the  other  hand,  they 
intersect  each  other  in  so  many  ways  that  one  sphere  is 
in  part  contained  in  many  others,  and  we  may  pass  at 
will  from  it  to  one  or  another  of  these,  and  from  this 
sphere  again  to  others,  as  we  have  already  shown.  Or, 
in  other  words,  the  minor  term  and  also  the  middle 
can  always  be  subordinated  to  different  concepts,  from 
which  we  may  choose  at  will  the  major  and  the  middle, 
and  the  nature  of  the  conclusion  depends  on  this  choice. 
Consequently  immediate  evidence  is  always  much  to  be 
preferred  to  reasoned  truth,  and  the  latter  is  only  to  be 
accepted  when  the  former  is  too  remote,  and  not  when 
it  is  as  near  or  indeed  nearer  than  the  latter.  Accord- 
ingly we  saw  above  that,  as  a  matter  of  fact,  in  the  case 
of  logic,  in  which  the  immediate  knowledge  in  each 
individual  case  lies  nearer  to  hand  than  deduced  scientfic 
knowledge,  we  always  conduct  our  thought  according  to 
our  immediate  knowledge  of  the  laws  of  thought,  and 
leave  logic  unused.1 

§  i  5.  If  now  with  our  conviction  that  perception  is  the 
primary  source  of  all  evidence,  and  that  only  direct  or 
indirect  connection  with  it  is  absolute  truth ;  and  further, 
that  the  shortest  way  to  this  is  always  the  surest,  as 
every  interposition  of  concepts  means  exposure  to  many 
deceptions ;  if,  I  say,  we  now  turn  with  this  conviction 
to  mathematics,  as  it  was  established  as  a  science  by 
Euclid,  and  has  remained  as  a  whole  to  our  own  day,  we 
cannot  help  regarding  the  method  it  adopts,  as  strange 
and  indeed  perverted.  We  ask  that  eveiy  logical  proof 
shall  be  traced  back  to  an  origin  in  perception ;  but 
mathematics,  on  the  contrary,  is  at  great  pains  deliberately 
to  throw  away  the  evidence  of  perception  which  is 
peculiar  to  it,  and  always  at  hand,  that  it  may  substitute 
for  it  a  logical  demonstration.     This  must  seem  to  us 

1  Cf.  Ch.  12  of  Supplement. 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  91 

like  the  action  of  a  man  who  cuts  off  his  legs  in  order  to 
go  on  crutches,  or  like  that  of  the  prince  in  the  "  Triumph 
der  Empfindsamkeit"  who  flees  from  the  beautiful  reality 
of  nature,  to  delight  in  a  stage  scene  that  imitates  it.      I 
must  here  refer  to  what  I  have  said  in  the  sixth  chap- 
ter of  the  essay  on  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason,  and 
take   for   granted  that   it  is  fresh   and  present  in   the 
memory  of  the  reader ;  so  that  I  may  link  my  observa- 
tions  on  to  it  without  explaining  again  the  difference 
between  the  mere  ground  of  knowledge  of  a  mathematical 
truth,  which  can  be  given  logically,  and  the  ground  of 
being,  which  is  the  immediate  connection  of  the  parts  of 
space  and  time,  known  only  in  perception.     It  is  only 
insight  into  the  ground  of  being  that  secures  satisfaction 
and  thorough  knowledge.     The^mere  ground  of  know- 
ledge must  always  remain  superficial ;  it  can  afford  us 
indeed  rational  knowledge  that  a  thing  is  as  it  is,  but  it 
cannot  tell  why  it  is  so.     Euclid  chose  the  latter  way  to 
the  obvious  detriment  of  the  science.     For  just  at  the 
beginning,  for  example,  when  he  ought  to  show  once  for 
all  how  in  a  triangle  the  angles  and  sides  reciprocally 
determine    each     other,    and    stand    to    each    other   in 
the  relation  of   reason  and   consequent,   in   accordance 
with  the  form  which  the  principle  of   sufficient  reason 
has  in  pure  space,  and  which  there,  as  in  every  other 
sphere,  always  affords  the  necessity  that  a  thing  is  as  it 
is,  because  something  quite  different  from  it,  is  as  it  is ; 
instead  of  in  this  way  giving  a  thorough  insight  into  the 
nature  of  the  triangle,  he  sets  up  certain  disconnected 
arbitrarily  chosen  propositions  concerning   the   triangle, 
and  gives  a  logical  ground  of  knowledge  of  them,  through 
a    laborious     logical    demonstration,     based    upon    the 
principle   of  contradiction.     Instead    of   an    exhaustive 
knowledge  of  these  space-relations  we  therefore  receive 
merely    certain    results    of   them,    imparted    to    us    at 
pleasure,  and  in  fact  we  are  very  much  in  the  position 
of  a  man  to  whom  the  different  effects  of  an  ingenious 


92  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

machine  are  shown,  but  from  whom  its  inner  connection 
and  construction  are  withheld.  We  are  compelled  by 
the  principle  of  contradiction  to  admit  that  what  Euclid 
demonstrates  is  true,  but  we  do  not  comprehend  why  it 
is  so.  We  have  therefore  almost  the  same  uncomfortable 
feeling  that  we  experience  after  a  juggling  trick,  and,  in 
fact,  most  of  Euclid's  demonstrations  are  remarkably  like 
such  feats.  The  truth  almost  always  enters  by  the  back 
door,  for  it  manifests  itself  per  accidens  through  some 
contingent  circumstance.  Often  a  reductio  ad  ahsurdum 
shuts  all  the  doors  one  after  another,  until  only  one  is 
left  through  which  we  are  therefore  compelled  to  enter. 
Often,  as  in  the  proposition  of  Pythagoras,  lines  are 
drawn,  we  don't  know  why,  and  it  afterwards  appears 
that  they  were  traps  which  close  unexpectedly  and  take 
prisoner  the  assent  of  the  astonished  learner,  who  must 
now  admit  what  remains  wholly  inconceivable  in  its  inner 
connection,  so  much  so,  that  he  may  study  the  whole  of 
Euclid  through  and  through  without  gaining  a  real  insight 
into  the  laws  of  space-relations,  but  instead  of  them  he 
only  learns  by  heart  certain  results  which  follow  from 
them.  This  specially  empirical  and  unscientific  know- 
ledge is  like  that  of  the  doctor  who  knows  both  the 
disease  and  the  cure  for  it,  but  does  not  know  the  con- 
/  nection  between  them.  But  all  this  is  the  necessary 
consequence  if  we  capriciously  reject  the  special  kind  of 
proof  and  evidence  of  one  species  of  knowledge,  and 
forcibly  introduce  in  its  stead  a  kind  which  is  quite 
foreign  to  its  nature.  However,  in  other  respects  the 
manner  in  which  this  has  been  accomplished  by  Euclid 
deserves  all  the  praise  which  has  been  bestowed  on  him 
through  so  many  centuries,  and  which  has  been  carried 
so  far  that  his  method  of  treating  mathematics  has  been 
set  up  as  the  pattern  of  all  scientific  exposition.  Men 
tried  indeed  to  model  all  the  sciences  after  it,  but  later 
they  gave  up  the  attempt  without  quite  knowing  why. 
Yet  in  our  eyes  this  method  of  Euclid  in  mathematics 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  93 

can  appear  only  as  a  very  brilliant  piece  of  perversity. 
But  when  a  great  error  in  life  or  in  science  has  been 
intentionally  and  methodically  carried  out  with  universal 
applause,  it  is  always  possible  to  discover  its  source  in 
the  philosophy  which  prevailed  at  the  time.  The  Eleatics 
first  brought  out  the  difference,  and  indeed  often  the 
conflict,  that  exists  between  what  is  perceived,  fawofievov,1 
and  what  is  thought,  vovpevov,  and  used  it  in  many  ways 
in  their  philosophical  epigrams,  and  also  in  sophisms. 
They  were  followed  later  by  the  Megarics,  the  Dialec- 
ticians, the  Sophists,  the  New- Academy,  and  the  Sceptics ; 
these  drew  attention  to  the  illusion,  that  is  to  say,  to  the 
deception  of  the  senses,  or  rather  of  the  understanding 
which  transforms  the  data  of  the  senses  into  perception, 
and  which  often  causes  us  to  see  things  to  which  the 
reason  unhesitatingly  denies  reality ;  for  example,  a  stick 
broken  in  water,  and  such  like.  It  came  to  be  known 
that  sense-perception  was  not  to  be  trusted  uncondition- 
ally, and  it  was  therefore  hastily  concluded  that  only 
rational,  logical  thought  could  establish  truth ;  although 
Plato  (in  the  Parmenides),  the  Megarics,  Pyrrho,  and 
the  New- Academy,  showed  by  examples  (in  the  manner 
which  was  afterwards  adopted  by  Sextus  Empiricus)  how 
syllogisms  and  concepts  were  also  sometimes  misleading, 
and  indeed  produced  paralogisms  and  sophisms  which 
arise  much  more  easily  and  are  far  harder  to  explain 
than  the  illusion  of  sense-perception.  However,  this 
rationalism,  which  arose  in  opposition  to  empiricism,  kept 
the  upper  hand,  and  Euclid  constructed  the  science  of 
mathematics  in  accordance  with  it.  He  was  compelled 
by  necessity  to  found  the  axioms  upon  evidence  of  per- 
ception (<f)cuvofievov),  but  all  the  rest  he  based  upon 
reasoning  (vov/nevov).  His  method  reigned  supreme 
through  all  the  succeeding  centuries,  and  it  could  not 
but  do  so  as  long  as  pure  intuition  or  perception,  a  priori, 

1  The  reader  must  not  think  here    terms,  which  is  condemned  in  the 
of   Kant's  misuse  of  these  Greek    Appendix. 


94  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

was  not  distinguished  from  empirical  perception.     Certain 
passages  from  the  works  of  Proclus,  the  commentator  of 
Euclid,  which  Kepler  translated  into  Latin  in  his  book, 
"De  Harmonia  Mundi,"   seem   to   show   that   he   fully 
recognised  this  distinction.     But  Proclus  did  not  attach 
enough  importance  to  the  matter ;  he  merely  mentioned 
it  by  the  way,  so  that  he  remained  unnoticed  and  accom- 
plished nothing.     Therefore,  not  till  two  thousand  years 
later  will  the  doctrine  of  Kant,  which  is  destined  to  make 
such  great  changes  in  all  the  knowledge,  thought,  and 
action    of   European    nations,   produce    this    change    in 
mathematics  also.     For  it  is  only  after  we  have  learned 
from  this  great  man  that  the  intuitions  or  perceptions  of 
space  and  time  are  quite  different  from  empirical  per- 
ceptions, entirely  independent  of  any  impression  of  the 
senses,  conditioning  it,  not  conditioned  by  it,  i.e.t  are  a 
priori,  and  therefore  are  not  exposed  to  the  illusions  of 
sense ;  only  after  we  have  learned  this,  I   say,  can  we 
comprehend    that   Euclid's    logical    method    of    treating 
mathematics  is  a  useless  precaution,  a  crutch  for  sound 
legs,  that  it  is  like  a  wanderer  who  during   the  night 
mistakes   a   bright,  firm   road   for   water,   and  carefully 
avoiding  it,  toils  over  the  broken  ground  beside  it,  con- 
tent to  keep  from  point  to  point  along  the  edge  of  the 
supposed  water.     Only  now  can  we  affirm  with  certainty 
that  what  presents  itself  to  us  as  necessary  in  the  per- 
ception of  a  figure,  does  not  come  from  the  figure  on  the 
paper,  which  is  perhaps  very  defectively  drawn,  nor  from 
the  abstract  concept  under  which  we  think  it,  but  imme- 
diately from  the  form  of  all  knowledge  of  which  we  are 
conscious   a  priori.      This   is   always  the   principle   of 
sufficient  reason ;   here   as  the   form  of  perception,  ie., 
space,  it  is  the  principle  of  the   ground  of  being,  the 
evidence  and  validity  of  which  is,  however,  just  as  great 
and  as  immediate  as  that  of  the  principle  of  the  ground 
of  knowing,  i.e.,  logical  certainty.     Thus  we  need  not  and 
ought  not  to  leave  the  peculiar  province  of  mathematics 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 


95 


in  order  to  put  our  trust  only  in  logical  proof,  and  seek 
to  authenticate  mathematics  in  a  sphere  which  is  quite 
foreign  to  it,  that  of  concepts.  If  we  confine  ourselves  to 
the  ground  peculiar  to  mathematics,  we  gain  the  great 
advantage  that  in  it  the  rational  knowledge  that  something 
is,  is  one  with  the  knowledge  why  it  is  so,  whereas  the 
method  of  Euclid  entirely  separates  these  two,  and  lets 
us  know  only  the  first,  not  the  second.  Aristotle  says 
admirably  in  the  Analyt.,  post.  i.  27  :  " A/cpifiearepa  8 
ein<TTr)fi7]  €TTiaTrifn)<;  kcli  irpoTepa,  r)T6  tov  otl  /cai  tov 
Slotl  r]  avrrj,  aWa  firj  %o)pt?  tov  otl,  T779  tov  Slotl" 
(Subtilior  autem  et  praestantior  ea  est  scientia,  qua  QUOD 
aliquid  sit,  et  CUR  sit  una  simulque  intelligimus  non 
separatim  QUOD,  et  cur  sit).  In  physics  we  are  only 
satisfied  when  the  knowledge  that  a  thing  is  as  it  is 
is  combined  with  the  knowledge  why  it  is  so.  To 
know  that  the  mercury  in  the  Torricellian  tube  stands 
thirty  inches  high  is  not  really  rational  knowledge  if 
we  do  not  know  that  it  is  sustained  at  this  height  by  the 
counterbalancing  weight  of  the  atmosphere.  Shall  we 
then  be  satisfied  in  mathematics  with  the  qualitas  occulta 
of  the  circle  that  the  segments  of  any  two  intersecting 
chords  always  contain  equal  rectangles?  That  it  is  so 
Euclid  certainly  demonstrates  in  the  35  th  Prop,  of  the 
Third  Book  ;  why  it  is  so  remains  doubtful.  In  the  same 
way  the  proposition  of  Pythagoras  teaches  us  a  qualitas 
occulta  of  the  right-angled  triangle  ;  the  stilted  and  indeed 
fallacious  demonstration  of  Euclid  forsakes  us  at  the  why, 
and  a  simple  figure,  which  we  already  know,  and  which 
is  present  to  us,  gives  at  a  glance  far  more  insight  into 
the  matter,  and  firm  inner  conviction  of  that  necessity,  and 
of  the  dependence  of  that  quality  upon  the  right  angle : — 


96  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

In  the  case  of  unequal  catheti  also,  and  indeed  generally 
in  the  case  of  every  possible  geometrical  truth,  it  is  quite 
possible  to  obtain  such  a  conviction  based  on  perception, 
because  these  truths  were  always  discovered  by  such  an 
empirically  known  necessity,  and  their  demonstration  was 
only  thought  out  afterwards  in  addition.  Thus  we  only 
require  an  analysis  of  the  process  of  thought  in  the  first 
discovery  of  a  geometrical  truth  in  order  to  know  its 
necessity  empirically.  It  is  the  analytical  method  in 
general  that  I  wish  for  the  exposition  of  mathematics, 
instead  of  the  synthetical  method  which  Euclid  made 
use  of.  Yet  this  would  have  very  great,  though  not 
insuperable,  difficulties  in  the  case  of  complicated  mathe- 
matical truths.  Here  and  there  in  Germany  men  are 
beginning  to  alter  the  exposition  of  mathematics,  and  to 
proceed  more  in  this  analytical  way.  The  greatest  effort 
in  this  direction  has  been  made  by  Herr  Kosack,  teacher 
of  mathematics  and  physics  in  the  Gymnasium  at  Nord- 
hausen,  who  added  a  thorough  attempt  to  teach  geometry 
according  to  my  principles  to  the  programme  of  the  school 
examination  on  the  6th  of  April  1852. 

In  order  to  improve  the  method  of  mathematics,  it  is 
especially  necessary  to  overcome  the  prejudice  that 
demonstrated  truth  has  any  superiority  over  what  is 
known  through  perception,  or  that  logical  truth  founded 
upon  the  principle  of  contradiction  has  any  superiority 
over  metaphysical  truth,  which  is  immediately  evident,  and 
to  which  belongs  the  pure  intuition  or  perception  of  space, 

.That  which  is  most  certain,  and  yet  always  inexplicable, 
is  what  is  involved  in  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason, 
for  this  principle,  in  its  different  aspects,  expresses  the 
universal  form  of  all  our  ideas  and  knowledge.  All 
explanation  consists  of  reduction  to  it,  exemplification  in 
the  particular  case  of  the  connection  of  ideas  expressed 
generally  through  it.  It  is  thus  the  principle  of  all 
explanation,  and  therefore  it  is  neither  susceptible  of  an 
explanation  itself,  nor  does  it  stand  in  need  of  it;  for 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  97 

every  explanation  presupposes  it,  and  only  obtains  mean- 
ing through  it.  Now,  none  of  its  forms  are  superior  to 
the  rest ;  "ltfTs  equally  certain  and  incapable  of  demon- 
stration as  the  principle  of  the  ground  of  being,  or  of 
change,  or  of  action,  or  of  knowing.  The  relation  of  reason 
and  consequent  is  a  necessity  in  all  its  forms,  and  indeed 
it  is,  in  general,  the  source  of  the  concept  of  necessity, 
for  necessity  has  no  other  meaning.  If  the  reason  is  given 
there  is  no  other  necessity  than  that  of  the  consequent, 
and  there  is  no  reason  that  does  not  involve  the  necessity 
of  the  consequent.  Just  as  surely  then  as  the  conse- 
quent expressed  in  the  conclusion  follows  from  the 
ground  of  knowledge  given  in  the  premises,  does  the 
ground  of  being  in  space  determine  its  consequent  in 
space:  if  I  know  through  perception  the  relation  of 
these  two,  this  certainty  is  just  as  great  as  any  logical 
certainty.  But  every  geometrical  proposition  is  just  as 
good  an  expression  of  such  a  relation  as  one  of  the 
twelve  axioms ;  it  is  a  metaphysical  truth,  and  as  such, 
just  as  certain  as  the  principle  of  contradiction  itself, 
which  is  a  metalogical  truth,  and  the  common  founda- 
tion of  all  logical  demonstration.  Whoever  denies  the 
necessity,  exhibited  for  intuition  or  perception,  of  the 
space-relations  expressed  in  any  proposition,  may  just  as 
well  deny  the  axioms,  or  that  the  conclusion  follows  from 
the  premises,  or,  indeed,  he  may  as  well  deny  the 
principle  of  contradiction  itself,  for  all  these  relations 
I  are  equally  undemonstrable,  immediately  evident  and 
I  known  a  priori.  For  any  one  to  wish  to  derive  the 
necessity  of  space-relations,  known  in  intuition  or  per- 
ception, from  the  principle  of  contradiction  by  means  of 
a  logical  demonstration  is  just  the  same  as  for  the  feudal 
superior  of  an  estate  to  wish  to  hold  it  as  the  vassal  of 
another.  Yet  this  is  what  Euclid  has  done.  His 
axioms  only,  he  is  compelled  to  leave  resting  upon 
immediate  evidence ;  all  the  geometrical  truths  which 
follow  are  demonstrated  logically,  that  is  to  say,   from 

VOL.  I.  G 


98  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

the  agreement  of  the  assumptions  made  in  the  pro- 
position with  the  axioms  which  are  presupposed,  or  with 
some  earlier  proposition;  or  from  the  contradiction  between 
the  opposite  of  the  proposition  and  the  assumptions  made 
in  it,  or  the  axioms,  or  earlier  propositions,  or  even  itself! 
But  the  axioms  themselves  have  no  more  immediate 
evidence  than  any  other  geometrical  problem,  but  only 
more  simplicity  on  account  of  their  smaller  content. 

When  a  criminal  is  examined,  a  proccs-verlal  is  made 
of  his  statement  in  order  that  we  may  judge  of  its  truth 
from  its  consistency.  But  this  is  only  a  makeshift,  and 
we  are  not  satisfied  with  it  if  it  is  possible  to  investigate 
the  truth  of  each  of  his  answers  for  itself;  especially 
as  he  might  lie  consistently  from  the  beginning.  But 
Euclid  investigated  space  according  to  this  first  method. 
He  set  about  it,  indeed,  under  the  correct  assumption 
that  nature  must  everywhere  be  consistent,  and  that 
therefore  it  must  also  be  so  in  space,  its  fundamental 
form.  Since  then  the  parts  of  space  stand  to  each  other 
in  a  relation  of  reason  and  consequent,  no  single  property 
of  space  can  be  different  from  what  it  is  without  being 
in  contradiction  with  all  the  others.  But  this  is  a  very 
troublesome,  unsatisfactory,  and  roundabout  way  to 
follow.  It  prefers  indirect  knowledge  to  direct,  which  is 
just  as  certain,  and  it  separates  the  knowledge  that  a 
thing  is  from  the  knowledge  why  it  is,  to  the  great  dis- 
advantage of  the  science ;  and  lastly,  it  entirely  withholds 
from  the  beginner  insight  into  the  laws  of  space,  and 
indeed  renders  him  unaccustomed  to  the  special  investi- 
gation of  the  ground  and  inner  connection  of  things, 
inclining  him  to  be  satisfied  with  a  mere  historical 
knowledge  that  a  thing  is  as  it  is.  The  exercise  of 
acuteness  which  this  method  is  unceasingly  extolled  as 
affording  consists  merely  in  this,  that  the  pupil  practises 
drawing  conclusions,  t.e.,  he  practises  applying  the  prin- 
ciple of  contradiction,  but  specially  he  exerts  his  memory 
to  retain  all  those  data  whose  agreement  is  to  be  tested. 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  99 

Moreover,  it  is  worth  noticing  that  this  method  of 
proof  was  applied  only  to  geometry  and  not  to  arithmetic. 
In  arithmetic  the  truth  is  really  allowed  to  come  home 
to  ns  through  perception  alone,  which  in  it  consists 
simply  in  counting.  As  the  perception  of  numbers  is 
in  time  alone,  and  therefore  cannot  be  represented  by  a 
sensuous  schema  like  the  geometrical  figure,  the  suspicion 
that  perception  is  merely  empirical,  and  possibly  illusive, 
disappeared  in  arithmetic,  and  the  introduction  of  the 
logical  method  of  proof  into  geometry  was  entirely  due 
to  this  suspicion.  As  time  has  only  one  dimension, 
counting  is  the  only  arithmetical  operation,  to  which  all 
others  may  be  reduced  ;  and  yet  counting  is  just  intui- 
tion or  perception  a  priori,  to  which  there  is  no  hesitation 
in  appealing  here,  and  through  which  alone  everything  else, 
every  sum  and  every  equation,  is  ultimately  proved.  We 
prove,  for  example,  not  that  l7+9^8"2— 42  ;  but  we  refer  to 
the  pure  perception  in  time,  counting  thus  makes  each 
individual  problem  an  axiom.  Instead  of  the  demonstra- 
tions that  fill  geometry,  the  whole  content  of  arithmetic 
and  algebra  is  thus  simply  a  method  of  abbreviating 
counting.  We  mentioned  above  that  our  immediate 
perception  of  numbers  in  time  extends  only  to  about 
ten.  Beyond  this  an  abstract  concept  of  the  numbers, 
fixed  by  a  word,  must  take  the  place  of  the  perception ; 
which  does  not  therefore  actually  occur  any  longer,  but 
is  only  indicated  in  a  thoroughly  definite  manner.  Yet 
even  so,  by  the  important  assistance  of  the  system  of 
figures  which  enables  us  to  represent  all  larger  numbers 
by  the  same  small  ones,  intuitive  or  perceptive  evidence 
of  every  sum  is  made  possible,  even  where  we  make 
such  use  of  abstraction  that  not  only  the  numbers,  but 
indefinite  quantities  and  whole  operations  are  thought 
only  in  the  abstract  and  indicated  as  so  thought,  as  ^/r5 
so  that  we  do  not  perform  them,  but  merely  symbolise 
them. 

We  might  establish  truth  in  geometry  also,  through 


joo  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

pure  a  priori  perception,  with  the  same  right  and 
certainty  as  in  arithmetic.  It  is  in  fact  always  this 
necessity,  known  through  perception  in  accordance  with 
the  principle  of  sufficient  reason  of  being,  which  gives  to 
geometry  its  principal  evidence,  and  upon  which  in  the 
consciousness  of  every  one,  the  certainty  of  its  propositions 
rests.  The  stilted  logical  demonstration  is  always  foreign 
to  the  matter,  and  is  generally  soon  forgotten,  without 
weakening  our  conviction.  It  might  indeed  be  dispensed 
with  altogether  without  diminishing  the  evidence  of 
geometry,  for  this  is  always  quite  independent  of  such 
demonstration,  which  never  proves  anything  we  are  not 
convinced  of  already,  through  another  kind  of  knowledge. 
So  far  then  it  is  like  a  cowardly  soldier,  who  adds  a 
wound  to  an  enemy  slain  by  another,  and  then  boasts 
that  he  slew  him  himself.1 

After  all  this  we  hope  there  will  be  no  doubt  that 
the  evidence  of  mathematics,  which  has  become  the 
pattern  and  symbol  of  all  evidence,  rests  essentially  not 
upon  demonstration,  but  upon  immediate  perception, 
which  is  thus  here,  as  everywhere  else,  the  ultimate 
ground  and  source  of  truth.  Yet  the  perception  which 
lies  at  the  basis  of  mathematics  has  a  great  advantage 
over  all  other  perception,  and  therefore  over  empirical 
perception.  It  is  a  priori,  and  therefore  independent  of 
experience,  which  is  always  given  only  in  successive 
parts ;  therefore  everything  is  equally  near  to  it,  and  we 
can  start  either  from  the  reason  or  from  the  consequent, 
as  we  please.     Now  this  makes  it  absolutely   reliable, 

1  Spinoza,  who  always  boasts  that  self  {substantia  causa  sui,  (fee.), and 

he    proceeds    more    geometrico,   has  in    the    demonstrations    he   allows 

actually  done  so  more  than  he  him-  himself  all  the  freedom  of  choice  for 

self  was  aware.     For  what  he  knew  which  the  nature  of  the  wide  con- 

with  certainty  and  decision  from  the  cept-spheres  afford  such  convenient 

*  •  *  fx rill.  _  1.      L!n       H/v<i^i*ma       !■ 


Willi  ueru.uiii.^  mm  uamuunuui  ««*>      *~r»  ~, TrnT         v 

immediate,  perceptive  apprehension  opportunity.  That  his  doctrine  » 
of  the  nature  of  the  world,  he  seeks  true  and  excellent  is  therefore  in 
to  demonstrate  logically  without 
reference  to  this  knowledge.  He 
only  arrives  at  the  intended  and  pre- 
determined result  by  starting  from 
arbitrary  concepts  framed  by  him- 


of  the  nature  ot  the  world,  ne  seeKs  irue   »uu  caubucuv   .*  «~w~ — 

to    demonstrate    logically    without  his   case,   as  in   that   of   geometry, 

reference   to   this   knowledge.     He  quite  independent  of  the  demonstra- 

only  arrives  at  the  intended  and  pre-  tions  of  it.    Cf.  ch.  1 3  of  supplemen- 

determined  result  by  starting  from  tary  volume. 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  101 

for  in  it  the  consequent  is  known  from  the  reason, 
and  this  is  the  only  kind  of  knowledge  that  has 
necessity;  for  example,  the  equality  of  the  sides  is 
known  as  established  by  the  equality  of  the  angles.  All 
empirical  perception,  on  the  other  hand,  and  the  greater 
part  of  experience,  proceeds  conversely  from  the  conse- 
quent to  the  reason,  and  this  kind  of  knowledge  is  not 
infallible,  for  necessity  only  attaches  to  the  consequent 
on  account  of  the  reason  being  given,  and  no  necessity 
attaches  to  the  knowledge  of  the  reason  from  the  conse- 
quent, for  the  same  consequent  may  follow  from  different 
reasons.  The  latter  kind  of  knowledge  is  simply  induc- 
tion, i.e.y  from  many  consequents  which  point  to  one 
reason,  the  reason  is  accepted  as  certain;  but  as  the 
cases  can  never  be  all  before  us,  the  truth  here  is  not 
unconditionally  certain.  But  all  knowledge  through 
sense-perception,  and  the  great  bulk  of  experience,  has 
only  this  kind  of  truth.  The  affection  of  one  of  the 
senses  induces  the  understanding  to  infer  a  cause  of  the 
effect,  but,  as  a  conclusion  from  the  consequent  to  the 
reason  is  never  certain,  illusion,  which  is  deception  of 
the  senses,  is  possible,  and  indeed  often  occurs,  as  was 
pointed  out  above.  Only  when  several  of  the  senses,  or 
it  may  be  all  the  five,  receive  impressions  which  point  to 
the  same  cause,  the  possibility  of  illusion  is  reduced  to  a 
minimum ;  but  yet  it  still  exists,  for  there  are  cases,  for 
example,  the  case  of  counterfeit  money,  in  which  all  the 
senses  are  deceived.  All  empirical  knowledge,  and  con- 
sequently the  whole  of  natural  science,  is  in  the  same 
position,  except  only  the  pure,  or  as  Kant  calls  it,  meta- 
physical part  of  it.  Here  also  the  causes  are  known 
from  the  effects,  consequently  all  natural  philosophy 
rests  upon  hypotheses,  which  are  often  false,  and  must 
then  gradually  give  place  to  more  correct  ones.  Only 
in  the  case  of  purposely  arranged  experiments,  knowledge 
proceeds  from  the  cause  to  the  effect,  that  is,  it  follows 
the  method  that  affords  certainty ;  but  these  experiments 


102  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

themselves  are  undertake n  in  consequence  of  hypotheses. 
Therefore,  no  branch  of  natural  science,  such  as  physics, 
or  astronomy,  or  physiology  could  be  discovered  all  at 
once,  as  was  the  case  with  mathematics  and  logic,  but 
required  and  requires  the  collected  and  compared  ex- 
periences of  many  centuries.  In  the  first  place,  repeated 
confirmation  in  experience  brings  the  induction,  upon 
which  the  hypothesis  rests,  so  near  completeness  that  in 
practice  it  takes  the  place  of  certainty,  and  is  regarded 
as  diminishing  the  value  of  the  hypothesis,  its  source, 
just  as  little  as  the  incommensurability  of  straight  and 
curved  lines  diminishes  the  value  of  the  application  of 
geometry,  or  that  perfect  exactness  of  the  logarithm, 
which  is  not  attainable,  diminishes  the  value  of  arith- 
metic. For  as  the  logarithm,  or  the  squaring  of  the 
circle,  approaches  infinitely  near  to  correctness  through 
infinite  fractions,  so,  through  manifold  experience,  the 
induction,  i.e.,  the  knowledge  of  the  cause  from  the 
effects,  approaches,  not  infinitely  indeed,  but  yet  so  near 
mathematical  evidence,  i.e.,  knowledge  of  the  effects  from 
the  cause,  that  the  possibility  of  mistake  is  small  enough 
to  be  neglected,  but  yet  the  possibility  exists ;  for  ex- 
ample, a  conclusion  from  an  indefinite  number  of  cases 
to  all  cases,  i.e.,  to  the  unknown  ground  on  which  all 
depend,  is  an  induction.  What  conclusion  of  this  kind 
seems  more  certain  than  that  all  men  have  the  heart  on 
the  left  side  ?  Yet  there  are  extremely  rare  and  quite 
isolated  exceptions  of  men  who  have  the  heart  upon  the 
right  side.  Sense-perception  and  empirical  science  have, 
therefore,  the  same  kind  of  evidence.  The  advantage 
which  mathematics,  pure  natural  science,  and  logic  have 
over  them,  as  a  priori  knowledge,  rests  merely  upon  this, 
that  the  formal  element  in  knowledge  upon  which  all 
that  is  a  priori  is  based,  is  given  as  a  whole  and  at  once, 
and  therefore  in  it  we  can  always  proceed  from  the  cause 
to  the  effect,  while  in  the  former  kind  of  knowledge  we 
are  generally  obliged  to  proceed  from  the  effect  to  the 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  103 

cause.  In  other  respects,  the  law  of  causality,  or  the 
principle  of  sufficient  reason  of  change,  which  guides 
empirical  knowledge,  is  in  itself  just  as  certain  as  the 
other  forms  of  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason  which 
are  followed  by  the  a  priori  sciences  referred  to  above. 
Logical  demonstrations  from  concepts  or  syllogisms  have 
the  advantage  of  proceeding  from  the  reason  to  the  con- 
sequent, just  as  much  as  knowledge  through  perception  a 
priori,  and  therefore  in  themselves,  i.e.,  according  to  their 
form,  they  are  infallible.  This  has  greatly  assisted  to 
bring  demonstration  in  general  into  such  esteem.  But 
this  infallibility  is  merely  relative;  the  demonstration 
merely  subsumes  under  the  first  principles  of  the  science, 
and  it  is  these  which  contain  the  whole  material  truth  of 
science,  and  they  must  not  themselves  be  demonstrated, 
but  must  be  founded  on  perception.  In  the  few  a  priori 
sciences  we  have  named  above,  this  perception  is  pure, 
but  everywhere  else  it  is  empirical,  and  is  only  raised 
to  universality  through  induction.  If,  then,  in  the  em- 
pirical sciences  also,  the  particular  is  proved  from  the 
general,  yet  the  general,  on  the  other  hand,  has  received 
its  truth  from  the  particular  ;  it  is  only  a  store  of  collected 
material,  not  a  self-constituted  foundation. 

So  much  for  the  foundation  of  truth.  Of  the  source 
and  possibility  of  error  many  explanations  have  been 
tried  since  Plato's  metaphorical  solution  of  the  dove-cot 
where  the  wrong  pigeons  are  caught,  &c.  (Thesetetus,  p. 
167,  et  seq.)  Kant's  vague,  indefinite  explanation  of  the 
source  of  error  by  means  of  the  diagram  of  diagonal 
motion,  will  be  found  in  the  "  Critique  of  Pure  Beason," 
p.  294  of  the  first  edition,  and  p.  350  of  the  fifth.  As 
truth  is  the  relation  of  a  judgment  to  its  ground  of  know- 
ledge, it  is  always  a  problem  how  the  person  judging  can 
believe  that  he  has  such  a  ground  of  knowledge  and  yet 
not  have  it ;  that  is  to  say,  how  error,  the  deception  of 
reason,  is  possible.  I  find  this  possibility  quite  analogous 
to  that  of  illusion,  or  the  deception  of  the  understanding, 


io4  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 


which  has  been  explained  above.     My  opinion  is  (and 
this  is  what  gives  this  explanation  its  proper  place  here) 
that  every  error  is  an  inference  from  the  consequent  to  tJu 
reason,  which  indeed  is  valid  when  we  know  that  the 
consequent  lias  that  reason  and  can  have  no  other ;  but 
otherwise  is  not  valid.     The  person  who  falls  into  error, 
either  attributes  to  a  consequent  a  reason  which  it  can- 
not have,  in  which  case  he  shows  actual  deficiency  of 
understanding,  i.e.,  deficiency  in  the  capacity  for  imme- 
diate knowledge  of  the  connection  between  the  cause  and 
the  effect,  or,  as  more  frequently  happens,  he  attributes 
to  the  effect  a  cause  which  is  possible,  but  he  adds  to  the 
major  proposition  of  the  syllogism,  in  which  he  infers 
the  cause  from  the  effect,  that  this  effect  always  results 
only  from  this  cause.     Now  he  could  only  be  assured 
of   this   by   a   complete   induction,   which,   however,  he 
assumes  without  having  made  it.    This  '  always '  is  there- 
fore too  wide  a  concept,  and  instead  of  it  he  ought  to 
have  used  'sometimes'   or  'generally.'     The   conclusion 
would  then  be  problematical,  and  therefore  not  erroneous. 
That  the  man  who  errs   should  proceed  in  this  way  is 
due  either  to  haste,  or  to  insufficient  knowledge  of  what 
is  possible,  on  account  of  which  he  does  not  know  the 
necessity  of  the  induction  that  ought  to  be  made.     Error 
then  is  quite  analogous  to  illusion.     Both  are  inferences 
from  the  effect  to  the  cause ;  the  illusion  brought  about 
always  in  accordance  with   the  law  of  causality,  and  by 
the   understanding   alone,   thus    directly,   in   perception 
itself ;  the  error  in  accordance  with  all  the  forms  of  the 
principle  of  sufficient  reason,  and  by  the  reason,  thus  in 
thought  itself;  yet  most  commonly  in  accordance  with 
the   law   of   causality,   as   will   appear   from    the   three 
following   examples,  which   may  be  taken  as  types  or 
representatives   of   the  three  kinds  of  error,     (i.)  The 
illusion   of  the  senses  (deception  of  the  understanding) 
induces  error  (deception  of  the  reason) ;  for  example,  if 
one  mistakes  a  painting  for  an  alto-relief,  and  actually 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  105 

takes  it  for  such;  the  error  results  from  a  conclusion 
from  the  following  major  premise :  "  If  dark  grey  passes 
regularly  through  all  shades  to  white ;  the  cause  is  always 
the  light,  which  strikes  differently  upon  projections  and 
depressions,  ergo — ."  (2.)  "  If  there  is  no  money  in  my 
safe,  the  cause  is  always  that  my  servant  has  got  a  key 
for  it :  ergo — ."  (3.)  "If  a  ray  of  sunlight,  broken 
through  a  prism,  i.e.,  bent  up  or  down,  appears  as  a 
coloured  band  instead  of  round  and  white  as  before,  the 
cause  must  always  be  that  light  consists  of  homogeneous 
rays,  differently  coloured  and  refrangible  to  different 
degrees,  which,  when  forced  asunder  on  account  of  the 
difference  of  their  refrangibility,  give  an  elongated  and 
variously -coloured  spectrum :  ergo — bibamus  !  " — It  must 
be  possible  to  trace  every  error  to  such  a  conclusion, 
drawn  from  a  major  premise  which  is  often  only  falsely 
generalised,  hypothetical,  and  founded  on  the  assumption 
that  some  particular  cause  is  that  of  a  certain  effect. 
Only  certain  mistakes  in  counting  are  to  be  excepted, 
and  they  are  not  really  errors,  but  merely  mistakes. 
The  operation  prescribed  by  the  concepts  of  the  numbers 
has  not  been  carried  out  in  pure  intuition  or  perception, 
in  counting,  but  some  other  operation  instead  of  it. 

As  regards  the  content  of  the  sciences  generally,  it  is, 
in  fact,  always  the  relation  of  the  phenomena  of  the 
world  to  each  other,  according  to  the  principle  of  sufficient 
reason,  under  the  guidance  of  the  why,  which  has  validity 
and  meaning  only  through  this  principle.  Explanation  is 
the  establishment  of  this  relation.  Therefore  explanation 
can  never  go  further  than  to  show  two  ideas  standing  to 
each  other  in  the  relation  peculiar  to  that  form  of  the 
principle  of  sufficient  reason  which  reigns  in  the  class  to 
which  they  belong.  If  this  is  done  we  cannot  further  be 
asked  the  question,  why:  for  the  relation  proved  is  that 
one  which  absolutely  cannot  be  imagined  as  other  than  it 
is,  i.e.,  it  is  the  form  of  all  knowledge.  Therefore  we  do 
not  ask  why  2  +  2  —  4 ;    or  why  the  equality  of  the 


106  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

angles  of  a  triangle  determines  the  equality  of  the  sides ; 
or  why  its  effect  follows  any  given  cause ;  or  why  the 
truth  of  the  conclusion  is  evident  from  the  truth  of  the 
premises.  Every  explanation  which  does  not  ultimately 
lead  to  a  relation  of  which  no  "why"  can  further  be 
demanded,  stops  at  an  accepted  qualitas  occulta;  but  this 
is  the  character  of  every  original  force  of  nature.  Every 
explanation  in  natural  science  must  ultimately  end  with 
such  a  qualitas  occulta,  and  thus  with  complete  obscurity. 
It  must  leave  the  inner  nature  of  a  stone  just  as  much 
unexplained  as  that  of  a  human  being;  it  can  give  as 
little  account  of  the  weight,  the  cohesion,  the  chemical 
qualities,  &c,  of  the  former,  as  of  the  knowing  and  acting 
of  the  latter.  Thus,  for  example,  weight  is  a  qualitas 
occulta,  for  it  can  be  thought  away,  and  does  not  proceed 
as  a  necessity  from  the  form  of  knowledge ;  which,  on  the 
contrary,  is  not  the  case  with  the  law  of  inertia,  for  it 
follows  from  the  law  of  causality,  and  is  therefore 
sufficiently  explained  if  it  is  referred  to  that  law.  .There 
are  two  things  which  are  altogether  inexplicable, — that 
is  to  say,  do  not  ultimately  lead  to  the  relation  which  the 
principle  of  sufficient  reason  expresses.  These  are,  first, 
the  principle  of  sufficient  reason  itself  in  all  its  four 
forms,  because  it  is  the  principle  of  all  explanation,  which 
has  meaning  only  in  relation  to  it;  secondly,  that  to 
which  this  principle  does  not  extend,  but  which  is  the 
original  source  of  all  phenomena ;  the  thing-in-itself,  the 
knowledge  of  which  is  not  subject  to  the  principle  of 
sufficient  reason.  We  must  be  content  for  the  present 
not  to  understand  this  thing-in-itself,  for  it  can  only  be 
made  intelligible  by  means  of  the  following  book,  in 
which  we  shall  resume  this  consideration  of  the  possible 
achievements  of  the  sciences.  But  at  the  point  at  which 
natural  science,  and  indeed  every  science,  leaves  things, 
because  not  only  its  explanation  of  them,  but  even  the 
principle  of  this  explanation,  the  principle  of  sufficient 
reason,  does  not  extend  beyond  this  point ;  there  philoso- 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  107 

phy  takes  them  up  and  treats  them  after  its  own  method, 
which  is  quite  distinct  from  the  method  of  science.  In 
my  essay  on  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason,  §  51,1 
have  shown  how  in  the  different  sciences  the  chief  guiding 
clue  is  one  or  other  form  of  that  principle ;  and,  in  fact, 
perhaps  the  most  appropriate  classification  of  the  sciences 
might  he  hased  upon  this  circumstance.  Every  explana- 
tion arrived  at  by  the  help  of  this  clue  is,  as  we  have 

/^.said,  merely  relative;  it  explains  things  in  relation  to 
each  other,  but  something  which  indeed  is  presupposed  is 
always  left  unexplained.  In  mathematics,  for  example, 
this  is  space  and  time;  in  mechanics,  physics,  and 
chemistry  it  is  matter,  qualities,  original  forces  and  laws 
of  nature ;  in  botany  and  zoology  it  is  the  difference  of 
species,  and  life  itself;  in  history  it  is  the  human  race 
with  all  its  properties  of  thought  and  will :  in  all  it  is 
that  form  of  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason  which  is 
respectively  applicable.  It  is  peculiar  to  philosophy  that 
it  presupposes  nothing  as  known,  but  treats  everything  as 
equally  external  and  a  problem  ;  not  merely  the  relations 
of  phenomena,  but  also  the  phenomena  themselves,  and 
even  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason  to  which  the  other 
sciences  are  content  to  refer  everything.  In  philosophy 
nothing  would  be  gained  by  such  a  reference,  as  one 
member  of  the  series  is  just  as  external  to  it  as  another; 
and,  moreover,  that  kind  of  connection  is  just  as  much  a 
problem  for  philosophy  as  what  is  joined  together  by  it, 
and  the  latter  again  is  just  as  much  a  problem  after  its 
combination  has  been  explained  as  before  it.     For,  as  we 

,  /have  said,  just  what  the  sciences  presuppose  and  lay  down 
'  as  the  basis  and  the  limits  of  their  explanation,  is  pre- 
cisely and  peculiarly  the  problem  of  philosophy,  which 
may  therefore  be  said  to  begin  where  science  ends.  It 
cannot  be  founded  upon  demonstrations,  for  they  lead 
from  known  principles  to  unknown,  but  everything  is 
equally  unknown  and  external  to  philosophy.  There  can 
be  no  principle  in  consequence  of  which  the  world  with 


io8  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA 

all  its  phenomena  first  came  into  existence,  and  there- 
fore it  is  not  possible  to  construct,  as  Spinoza  wished, 
a  philosophy  which  demonstrates  ex  fir  mis  principiis. 
Philosophy  is  the  most  general  rational  knowledge,  the 
first  principles  of  which  cannot  therefore  be  derived  from 
another  principle  still  more  general.  The  principle  of  con- 
tradiction establishes  merely  the  agreement  of  concepts, 
but  does  not  itself  produce  concepts.  The  principle  of 
sufficient  reason  explains  the  connections  of  phenomena, 
but  not  the  phenomena  themselves ;  therefore  philosophy 
cannot  proceed  upon  these  principles  to  seek  a  causa 
cjjiciens  or  a  causa  finalis  of  the  whole  world.  My  philo- 
sophy, at  least,  does  not  by  any  means  seek  to  know 
whence  or  where/ore  the  world  exists,  but  merely  what  the 
world  is.  But  the  why  is  here  subordinated  to  the 
what,  for  it  already  belongs  to  the  world,  as  it  arises  and 
has  meaning  and  validity  only  through  the  form  of  its 
phenomena,  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason.  We  might 
indeed  say  that  every  one  knows  what  the  world  is  with- 
out help,  for  he  is  himself  that  subject  of  knowledge  of 
£  which  the  world  is  the  idea;  and  so  far  this  would  be 

true.  But  that  knowledge  is  empirical,  is  in  the  con- 
crete ;  the  task  of  philosophy  is  to  reproduce  this  in 
the  abstract  to  raise  to  permanent  rational  knowledge 
the  successive  changing  perceptions,  and  in  general,  all 
that  is  contained  under  the  wide  concept  of  feeling  and 
merely  negatively  defined  as  not  abstract,  distinct,  rational 
\  knowledge.  It  must  therefore  consist  of  a  statement  in 
^  the  abstract,  of  the  nature  of  the  whole  world,  of  the 
whole,  and  of  all  the  parts.  In  order  then  that  it  may 
not  lose  itself  in  the  endless  multitude  of  particular  judg- 
ments, it  must  make  use  of  abstraction  and  think  every- 
thing individual  in  the  universal,  and  its  differences  also 
in  the  universal.  It  must  therefore  partly  separate  and 
partly  unite,  in  order  to  present  to  rational  knowledge 
the  whole  manifold  of  the  world  generally,  according  to 
its   nature,   comprehended  in   a  few   abstract    concepts. 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  109 

Through  these  concepts,  in  which  it  fixes  the  nature  of 
the  world,  the  whole  individual  must  be  known  as  well 
as  the  universal,  the  knowledge  of  both  therefore  must 
be  bound  together  to  the  minutest  point.     Therefore  the 
capacity   for  philosophy  consists  just  in  that  in  which 
Plato  placed  it,  the  knowledge  of  the  one  in  the  many, 
and  the  many  in  the  one.     Philosophy  will  therefore  be 
a  sum-total  of  general  judgments,  whose  ground  of  know- 
ledge is  immediately  the  world  itself  in  its  entirety,  with- 
out°excepting  anything;  thus  all  that  is  to  be  found  in 
human  consciousness ;  it  will  be  a  complete  recapitulation, 
as  it  were,  a  reflection,  of  the  world  in  abstract  concepts, 
which  is  only  possible  by  the  union  of  the  essentially 
identical  in  one  concept  and  the  relegation  of  the  different 
to  another.    This  task  was  already  prescribed  to  philosophy 
by  Bacon  of  Verulam  when  he  said :  ea  demum  vera  est 
philosophia,  quae  mundi  ipsius  wees  fidelissime  reddit,  et 
veluti  dictante   mundo   conscripta  est,  et  nihil  aliud  est, 
quam  ejusdem  simulacrum  et  reflectio,  neque  addit  quid- 
quam  de  proprio,  sed  tantum  Herat  et  resonat  (Be  Augm. 
Scient.,  L.  2,  c.  13).     But  we  take  this  in  a  wider  sense 
than  Bacon  could  then  conceive. 

The  agreement  which  all  the  sides  and  parts  of  the 

world  have  with  each  other,  just  because  they  belong  to 

a  whole,  must  also  be  found  in  this  abstract  copy  of  it 

Therefore  the  judgments   in  this  sum-total  could  to  a 

certain  extent  be  deduced  from  each  other,  and  indeed 

always  reciprocally  so  deduced.     Yet  to  make  the  first 

judgment  possible,  they  must  all  be  present,  and  thus 

implied  as  prior  to  it  in  the  knowledge  of  the  world  in 

the  concrete,  especially  as  all  direct  proof  is  more  certain 

than  indirect  proof ;  their  harmony  with  each  other  by 

virtue  of  which  they  come  together  into  the  unity  of  one 

thought,  and  which  arises  from  the  harmony  and  unity  of 

the   world  of  perception  itself,  which  is  their  common 

ground  of  knowledge,  is  not  therefore  to  be   made  use 

of  to   establish  them,  as  that  which  is  prior  to  them, 


"o  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

but  is  only  added  as  a  confirmation  of  their  truth. 
This  problem  itself  can  only  become  quite  clear  in  being 
solved.1 

§  1 6.  After  this  full  consideration  of  reason  as  a  special 
faculty  of  knowledge  belonging  to  man  alone,  and  the 
results  and  phenomena  peculiar  to  human  nature  brought 
about  by  it,  it  still  remains  for  me  to  speak  of  reason,  so 
far  as  it  is  the  guide  of  human  action,  and  in  this  respect 
may  be  called  practical     But  what  there  is  to  say  upon 
this  point  has  found  its  place  elsewhere  in  the  appendix 
to  this  work,  where  I  controvert  the  existence  of  the  so- 
called  practical  reason  of  Kant,  which  he  (certainly  very 
conveniently)  explained  as  the  immediate  source  of  virtue, 
and  as  the  seat  of  an  absolute  (i.e.,  fallen  from  heaven) 
imperative.     The  detailed  and  thorough  refutation  of  this 
Kantian  principle  of  morality  I  have  given  later  in  the 
"  Fundamental   Problems    of    Ethics."     There    remains, 
therefore,  but  little  for  me  to  say  here  about  the  actual 
influence  of  reason,  in  the  true   sense  of  the  word,  upon 
action.     At    the    commencement    of    our  treatment    of 
reason   we  remarked,  in  general  terms,    how  much  the 
action  and  behaviour  of  men  differs  from  that  of  brutes, 
and  that  this  difference  is  to  be  regarded  as  entirely  due 
to   the  presence  of  abstract  concepts   in  consciousness. 
The  influence  of  these  upon  our  whole  existence   is   so 
penetrating  and  significant  that,  on  account  of  them,  we 
are  related  to  the  lower  animals   very  much  as    those 
animals  that  see  are  related  to  those  that  have  no  eyes 
(certain  larvae,  worms,  and  zoophytes).      Animals  with- 
out eyes  know  only  by  touch  what  is  immediately  present 
to  them  in  space,  what  comes  into  contact  with   them ; 
those  which  see,  on  the  contrary,  know  a  wide  circle  of 
near  and  distant  objects.     In  the  same  way  the  absence 
of  reason  confines  the  lower  animals  to  the  ideas  of  per- 
ception, i.e.,  the  real  objects  which  are  immediately  pre- 
sent to  them  in  time ;  we,  on  the  contrary,  on  account 

1  Ct  Ch.  17  of  Supplement 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  ill 

of  knowledge  in  the  abstract,  comprehend  not  only  the 
narrow  actual  present,  but  also  the  whole  past  and 
future,  and  the  wide  sphere  of  the  possible ;  we  view 
life  freely  on  all  its  sides,  and  go  far  beyond  the 
present  and  the  actual.  Thus  what  the  eye  is  in  space 
and  for  sensuous  knowledge,  reason  is,  to  a  certain 
extent,  in  time  and  for  inner  knowledge.  But  as  the 
visibility  of  objects  has  its  worth  and  meaning  only  in 
the  fact  that  it  informs  us  of  their  tangibility,  so  the 
whole. worth  of  abstract  knowledge  always  consists  in  its 
relation  to  what  is  perceived.  Therefore  men  naturally 
attach  far  more  worth  to  immediate  and  perceived  know- 
ledge than  to  abstract  concepts,  to  that  which  is  merely 
thought ;  they  place  empirical  knowledge  before  logical. 
But  this  is  not  the  opinion  of  men  who  live  more  in 
words  than  in  deeds,  who  have  seen  more  on  paper  and 
in  books  than  in  actual  life,  and  who  in  their  greatest 
degeneracy  become  pedants  and  lovers  of  the  mere  letter. 
Thus  only  is  it  conceivable  that  Leibnitz  and  Wolf  and 
all  their  successors  could  go  so  far  astray  as  to  explain 
knowledge  of  perception,  after  the  example  of  Duns 
Scotus,  as  merely  confused  abstract  knowledge !  To  the 
honour  of  Spinoza,  I  must  mention  that  his  truer  sense 
led  him,  on  the  contrary,  to  explain  all  general  concepts 
as  having  arisen  from  the  confusion  of  that  which  was 
known  in  perception  (Eth.  II.,  prop.  40,  Schol.  1). 
It  is  also  a  result  of  perverted  opinion  that  in  mathe- 
matics the  evidence  proper  to  it  was  rejected,  and 
logical  evidence  alone  accepted;  that  everything  in 
general  which  was  not  abstract  knowledge  was  compre- 
hended under  the  wide  name  of  feeling,  and  consequently 
was  little  valued;  and  lastly  that  the  Kantian  ethics 
regarded  the  good  will  which  immediately  asserts  itself 
upon  knowledge  of  the  circumstances,  and  guides  to 
right  and  good  action  as  mere  feeling  and  emotion,  and 
consequently  as  worthless  and  without  merit,  and  would 


H2  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

only    recognise    actions    which    proceed    from    abstract 
maxims  as  having  moral  worth. 

The  many-sided  view  of  life  as  a  whole  which  man, 
as  distinguished  from  the  lower  animals,  possesses  through 
reason,  may  be  compared  to  a  geometrical,  colourless, 
abstract,  reduced  plan  of  his  actual  life.  He,  therefore, 
stands  to  the  lower  animals  as  the  navigator  who,  by 
means  of  chart,  compass,  and  quadrant,  knows  accurately 
his  course  and  his  position  at  any  time  upon  the  sea, 
stands  to  the  uneducated  sailors  who  see  only  the  waves 
and  the  heavens.  Thus  it  is  worth  noticing,  and  indeed 
wonderful,  how,  besides  his  life  in  the  concrete,  man 
always  lives  another  life  in  the  abstract.  In  the  former 
he  is  given  as  a  prey  to  all  the  storms  of  actual  life,  and 
to  the  influence  of  the  present;  he  must  struggle,  suffer, 
and  die  like  the  brute.  But  his  life  in  the  abstract,  as 
it  lies  before  his  rational  consciousness,  is  the  still 
reflection  of  the  former,  and  of  the  world  in  which  he 
lives ;  it  is  just  that  reduced  chart  or  plan  to  which  we 
have  referred.  Here  in  the  sphere  of  quiet  deliberation, 
what  completely  possessed  him  and  moved  him  intensely 
before,  appears  to  him  cold,  colourless,  and  for  the 
moment  external  to  him ;  he  is  merely  the  spectator,  the 
observer.  In  respect  of  this  withdrawal  into  reflection 
he  may  be  compared  to  an  actor  who  has  played  his  part 
in  one  scene,  and  who  takes  his  place  among  the  audience 
till  it  is  time  for  him  to  go  upon  the  stage  again,  and 
quietly  looks  on  at  whatever  may  happen,  even  though 
it  be  the  preparation  for  his  own  death  (in  the  piece), 
but  afterwards  he  again  goes  on  the  stage  and  acts  and 
suffers  as  he  must.  From  this  double  life  proceeds  that 
quietness  peculiar  to  human  beings,  so  very  different 
from  the  thoughtlessness  of  the  brutes,  and  with  which, 
in  accordance  with  previous  reflection,  or  a  formed  de- 
termination, or  a  recognised  necessity,  a  man  suffers  or 
accomplishes  in  cold  blood,  what  is  of  the  utmost  and 
often  terrible  importance  to  him ;  suicide,  execution,  the 


THE   WORLD  AS  IDEA.  113 

duel,  enterprises  of  every  kind  fraught  with  danger  to  life, 
and,  in  general,  things  against  which  his  whole  animal 
nature  rebels.  Under  such  circumstances  we  see  to  what 
an  extent  reason  has  mastered  the  animal  nature,  and  we 
say  to  the  strong :  ai^rjpecop  vv  toi  rjrop !  (ferreum  certc 
tibi  cor),  II.  24,  521.  Here  we  can  say  truly  that  reason 
manifests  itself  practically,  and  thus  wherever  action  is 
guided  by  reason,  where  the  motives  are  abstract  concepts, 
wherever  we  are  not  determined  by  particular  ideas  of 
perception,  nor  by  the  impression  of  the  moment  which 
guides  the  brutes,  there  practical  reason  shows  itself.  But 
I  have  fully  explained  in  the  Appendix,  and  illustrated  by 
examples,  that  this  is  entirely  different  from  and  unre- 
lated to  the  ethical  worth  of  actions ;  that  rational  action 
and  virtuous  action  are  two  entirely  different  things ;  that 
reason  may  just  as  well  find  itself  in  connection  with 
great  evil  as  with  great  good,  and  by  its  assistance  may 
give  great  power  to  the  one  as  well  as  to  the  other ;  that 
it  is  equally  ready  and  valuable  for  the  methodical  and 
consistent  carrying  out  of  the  noble  and  of  the  bad  in- 
tention, of  the  wise  as  of  the  foolish  maxim ;  which  all 
results  from  the  constitution  of  its  nature,  which  is 
feminine,  receptive,  retentive,  and  not  spontaneous;  all 
this  I  have  shown  in  detail  in  the  Appendix,  and  illus- 
trated by  examples.  What  is  said  there  would  have  been 
placed  here,  but  on  account  of  my  polemic  against  Kant's 
pretended  practical  reason  I  have  been  obliged  to  relegate 
it  to  the  Appendix,  to  which  I  therefore  refer. 

The  ideal  explained  in  the  Stoical  philosophy  is  the 
most  complete  development  of  practical  reason  in  the  true 
and  genuine  sense  of  the  word ;  it  is  the  highest  summit  to 
which  man  can  attain  by  the  mere  use  of  his  reason,  and 
in  it  his  difference  from  the  brutes  shows  itself  most  dis- 
tinctly. For  the  ethics  of  Stoicism  are  originally  and 
essentially,  not  a  doctrine  of  virtue,  but  merely  a  guide 
to  a  rational  life,  the  end  and  aim  of  which  is  happiness 
through  peace  of  mind.     Virtuous  conduct  appears  in  it 

vol.  1.  H 


II4  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

as  it  were  merely  by  accident,  as  the  means,  not  as  the 
end.     Therefore  the  ethical  theory  of  Stoicism  is  in  its 
whole  nature  and  point  of  view  fundamentally  different 
from  the  ethical  systems  which  lay  stress  directly  upon 
virtue,  such  as  the  doctrines  of  the  Vedas,  of  Plato,  of 
Christianity,  and  of  Kant.     The  aim  of  Stoical  ethics  is 
happiness :  reXo?   to   evhai   fioveiv   (virtutes  omnes  finem 
habere  heatitudincm)  it  is  called  in  the  account  of  the  Stoa 
by  Stobasus  (EcL,  L.  ii.  c.  7,  p.   114,  and  also  p.  138). 
Yet  the  ethics  of  Stoicism  teach  that  happiness  can  only 
be   attained   with   certainty  through   inward  peace  and 
quietness  of  spirit  (arapa^ia),  and  that  this  again  can 
only  be  reached  through  virtue ;  this  is  the  whole  mean- 
ing of  the  saying  that  virtue  is  the  highest  good.     But  if 
indeed  by  degrees  the  end  is  lost  sight  of  in  the  means, 
and  virtue  is   inculcated  in   a  way  which  discloses   an 
interest  entirely  different  from  that  of  one's  own  happi- 
ness, for  it  contradicts  this  too  distinctly  ;  this  is  just  one 
of  those  inconsistencies   by   means   of   which,  in  every 
system,  the  immediately  known,  or,  as  it  is  called,  felt 
truth   leads   us   back  to   the  right  way   in  defiance   of 
syllogistic  reasoning ;  as,  for  example,  we  see  clearly  in  the 
ethical  teaching  of  Spinoza,  which  deduces  a  pure  doctrine 
of  virtue  from  the  egoistical  snum  utile  qucerere  by  means 
of  palpable  sophisms.     According  to  this,  as  I  conceive  the 
spirit  of  the  Stoical  ethics,  their  source  lies  in  the  question 
whether  the  great  prerogative  of  man,  reason,  which,  by 
means  of  planned  action  and  its  results,  relieves  life  and 
its  burdens  so  much,  might  not  also  be  capable  of  freeing 
him  at  once,  directly,  i.e.,  through  mere  knowledge,  com- 
pletely, or  nearly  so,  of  the  sorrows  and  miseries  of  every 
kind  of  which  his  life  is  full.    They  held  that  it  was  not  in 
keeping  with  the  prerogative  of  reason  that  the  nature 
given  with  it,  which  by  means  of  it  comprehends  and 
contemplates    an    infinity   of    things  and   circumstances, 
should  yet,  through  the  present,  and  the  accidents  that 
can  be  contained  in  the  few  years  of  a  life  that  is  short, 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  115 

fleeting,  and  uncertain,  be  exposed  to  such  intense  pain, 
to  such  great  anxiety  and  suffering,  as  arise  from  the 
tempestuous  strain  of  the   desires  and  the  antipathies; 
and  they  believed  that   the  due  application  of   reason 
must  raise  men  above  them,  and  can  make  them  invul- 
nerable.    Therefore  Antisthenes  says :  Aa  ktckjOcli  vow, 
f)  Ppo^ov  (aut  mentem  parandam,  aut  laqueum.     Plut.  de 
stoic,  repugn.,  c.  14),  ie.,  life  is  so  full  of  troubles  and 
vexations,  that  one  must  either  rise  above  it  by  means  of 
corrected  thoughts,  or  leave  it.     It  was  seen  that  want 
and  suffering  did  not  directly  and  of  necessity  spring 
from  not  having,  but  from   desiring   to  have    and    not 
having ;  that  therefore  this  desire  to  have  is  the  neces- 
sary condition  under  which  alone  it  becomes  a  privation 
not  to  have  and  begets  pain.     Ov  irevia  \xrmp  epya^erat, 
aXka  €7ri,dvfjLi,a  (non  paupertas  dolor  em  efficit,  sed  cupiditas), 
Epict.,  fragm.  25.    Men  learned  also  from  experience  that 
it  is  only  the  hope  of  what  is  claimed  that  begets  and 
nourishes  the  wish ;  therefore  neither  the  many  unavoid- 
able evils  which  are  common    to  all,  nor    unattainable 
blessings,  disquiet  or  trouble  us,  but   only  the  trifling 
more  or  less  of  those  things  which  we  can  avoid  or  attain ; 
indeed,  not  only  what  is  absolutely  unavoidable  or  un- 
attainable, but  also  what  is  merely  relatively  so,  leaves 
us  quite  undisturbed;  therefore  the  ills  that  have  once 
become  joined  to  our  individuality,  or  the  good  things 
that  must  of  necessity  always  be  denied  us,  are  treated 
with  indifference,  in  accordance  with  the  peculiarity  of 
human  nature  that  every  wish  soon  dies  and  can  no  more 
beget  pain  if  it  is  not  nourished  by  hope.     It  followed 
from  all  this  that   happiness  always  depends  upon  the 
proportion  between  our  claims  and  what  we  receive.     It 
is  all  one  whether  the  quantities  thus  related  be  great  or 
small,  and  the  proportion  can  be  established  just  as  well 
by  diminishing  the  amount  of  the  first  as  by  increasing 
the  amount  of  the  second ;  and  in  the  same  way  it  also 
follows  that  all  suffering  proceeds  from  the  want  of  pro- 


Il6  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

portion  between  what  we  demand  and  expect  and  what 
we  get.     Now   this    want    of    proportion   obviously  lies 
only  in  knowledge,  and  it  could  be  entirely  abolished 
through  fuller  insight1     Therefore  Chrysippus  says :  Se* 
fyv  kclt  efiireipiav  rcov  4>vaei  (rvfi(3aivovr(ov  (Stob.  Eel.,  L. 
ii.  c.  7,  p.   134),  that  is,  one  ought  to  live  with  a  due 
knowledge  of  the  transitory  nature  of  the  things  of  the 
world.    °For  as  often  as  a  man  loses  self-command,  or  is 
struck  down  by  a  misfortune,  or  grows  angry,  or  becomes 
faint-hearted,  he  shows  that  he  finds  things  different  from 
what  he  expected,  consequently  that  he  was  caught  in 
error,  and  did  not  know  the  world  and  life,  did  not  know 
that  the  will  of  the  individual  is  crossed  at  every  step  by 
the  chance  of  inanimate  nature  and  the  antagonism  of 
aims  and   the  wickedness  of   other  individuals:  he  has 
therefore  either  not  made  use  of  his  reason  in  order  to 
arrive  at  a  general  knowledge  of   this  characteristic  of 
life,  or  he  lacks  judgment,  in  that  he  does  not  recognise 
in    the    particular    what   he   knows  in   general,  and  is 
therefore  surprised  by  it  and  loses  his   self-command. 
Thus  also  every  keen  pleasure  is  an  error  and  an  illusion, 
for  no  attained  wish  can  give  lasting  satisfaction;  and, 
moveover,  every  possession  and  every  happiness  is  but 
lent  by  chance  for  an  uncertain  time,  and  may  therefore 
be  demanded  back  the  next  hour.     All  pain  rests  on  the 
passing  away  of  such  an  illusion ;  thus  both  arise  from 
defective  knowledge ;  the  wise  man  therefore  holds  him- 
self equally  aloof  from  joy  and  sorrow,  and   no  event 
disturbs  his  arapa&a- 

In  accordance  with  this  spirit  and  aim  of  the  Stoa, 
Epictetus  began  and  ended  with  the  doctrine  as  the  kernel 

1  Omnes    perturbationes    judicio  avOpuron  xavr^v  twv  jtaKW*,  to  rat 

censent     fieri     et     opinione.      Cic.  */>o\#cts    ras    /cotvas    w    Swacrflai 

Tusc    4  6      Tapaffffei  tovs  avOpwtcovs  e<papfio^iv    tcus    eiri     pepovs    t±lffiO 

ou'ra'^Ta,  oXXa  ra  repc  rwv  est  causa   mortalibus  omnium   ma- 

xpayuarJ    tory/iara      (Perturbant  lorum,  non  pc.sse  communes  notionei 

homines  non  res  ipsa,  sed  de  rebus  nptarc  singulanbus).    Lpict.  dissert., 

opiniones).     Epictet.,  c.  v.  ii.,  26. 

-  Toirro    yap    e<m    to   axriov   rots 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  117 

of  his  philosophy,  that  we  should  consider  well  and  dis- 
tinguish what  depends  upon  us  and  what  does  not,  and 
therefore  entirely  avoid  counting  upon  the  latter,  whereby 
we  shall  certainly  remain  free  from  all  pain,  sorrow,  and 
anxiety.  But  that  which  alone  is  dependent  upon  us  is 
the  will ;  and  here  a  transition  gradually  takes  place  to 
a  doctrine  of  virtue,  for  it  is  observed  that  as  the  outer 
world,  which  is  independent  of  us,  determines  good  and 
bad  fortune,  so  inner  contentment  with  ourselves,  or  the 
absence  of  it,  proceeds  from  the  will.  But  it  was  then 
asked  whether  we  ought  to  apply  the  words  honum  and 
malum  to  the  two  former  or  to  the  two  latter  ?  This  was 
indeed  arbitrary  and  a  matter  of  choice,  and  did  not 
make  any  real  difference,  but  yet  the  Stoics  disputed 
everlastingly  with  the  Peripatetics  and  Epicureans  about 
it,  and  amused  themselves  with  the  inadmissible  com- 
parison of  two  entirely  incommensurable  quantities,  and 
the  antithetical,  paradoxical  judgments  which  proceeded 
from  them,  and  which  they  flung  at  each  other.  The 
Paradoxa  of  Cicero  afford  us  an  interesting  collection  of 
these  from  the  Stoical  side. 

Zeno,  the  founder,  seems  originally  to  have  followed  a 
somewhat  different  path.  The  starting-point  with  him 
was  that  for  the  attainment  of  the  highest  good,  i.e., 
blessedness  and  spiritual  peace,  one  must  live  in  harmony 
with  oneself  (o/jbokoyovfievax;  gyw  tovto  Wean  /caff  eva 
\oyov  Kai  crvfKpwvov  tyv.  —  Consonanter  vivere :  hoc  est 
secundum,  unam  rationem  et  concordem  sibi  vivere.  Stob. 
Eel.  eth.  L.  ii,  c  7,  p.  132.  Also:  Aperrjv  hiaQeaiv  eivai 
tyvyrfi  avfJL<f>G)vov  eavrrj  irepi  oKov  tov  fiiov.  Virtutem 
esse  animi  affectionem  secum  per  totam  vitam  consentientem, 
ibid.,  p.  104.)  Now  this  was  only  possible  for  a  man  if 
he  determined  himself  entirely  rationally,  according  to 
concepts,  not  according  to  changing  impressions  and 
moods ;  since,  however,  only  the  maxims  of  our  conduct, 
not  the  consequences  nor  the  outward  circumstances,  are 
in  our  power,  in  order  to  be  always  consistent  we  must  set 


n8  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

before  us  as  our  aim  only  the  maxims  and  not  the  con- 
sequences and  circumstances,  and  thus  again  a  doctrine 
of  virtue  is  introduced. 

But  the  ethical  principle  of  Zeno — to  live  in  harmony 
with  oneself — appeared  even  to  his  immediate  successors 
to  be  too  formal  and  empty.  They  therefore  gave  it 
material  content  by  the  addition — "  to  live  in  harmony 
with  nature "  (ofjuokoyovfievcos  ttj  (pvcrei  tyv),  which,  as 
Stobaeus  mentions  in  another  place,  was  lirst  added  by 
Kleanthes,  and  extended  the  matter  very  much  on  account 
of  the  wide  sphere  of  the  concept  and  the  vagueness  of 
the  expression.  For  Kleanthes  meant  the  whole  of 
nature  in  general,  while  Chrysippus  meant  human  nature 
in  particular  (Diog.  Laert.,  7,  89).  It  followed  that 
what  alone  was  adapted  to  the  latter  was  virtue,  just  as 
the  satisfaction  of  animal  desires  was  adapted  to  animal 
natures ;  and  thus  ethics  had  again  to  be  forcibly  united 
to  a  doctrine  of  virtue,  and  in  some  way  or  other  estab- 
lished through  physics.  For  the  Stoics  always  aimed  at 
unity  of  principle,  as  for  them  God  and  the  world  were 
not  dissevered. 

The  ethical  system  of  Stoicism,  regarded  as  a  whole,  is 
in  fact  a  very  valuable  and  estimable  attempt  to  use  the 
great  prerogative  of  man,  reason,  for  an  important  and 
salutary  end ;  to  raise  him  above  the  suffering  and  pain 
to  which  all  life  is  exposed,  by  means  of  a  maxim — 

"  Qva  ratione  queas  traducere  leniter  cevum  : 
Ne  te  semper  inops  agitet  vexetque  cvjrido, 
Ne pavor  et  rerum  mediocriter  utilium  spes" 

and  thus  to  make  him  partake,  in  the  highest  degree,  of 
the  dignity  which  belongs  to  him  as  a  rational  being, 
as  distinguished  from  the  brutes ;  a  dignity  of  winch, 
in  this  sense  at  any  rate,  we  can  speak,  though  not 
in  any  other.  It  is  a  consequence  of  my  view  of  the 
ethical  system  of  Stoicism  that  it  must  be  explained 
at  the    part    of    my   work    at    which    I    consider  what 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  119 

reason  is  and  what  it  can  do.  But  although  it  may  to 
a  certain  extent  be  possible  to  attain  that  end  through 
the  application  of  reason,  and  through  a  purely  rational 
system  of  ethics,  and  although  experience  shows  that  the 
happiest  men  are  those  purely  rational  characters  com- 
monly called  practical  philosophers, — and  rightly  so,  be- 
cause just  as  the  true,  that  is,  the  theoretical  philospher 
carries  life  into  the  concept,  they  carry  the  concept  into 
life, — yet  it  is  far  from  the  case  that  perfection  can  be 
I  attained  in  this  way,  and  that  the  reason,  rightly  used, 
can  really  free  us  from  the  burden  and  sorrow  of  life,  and 
lead  us  to  happiness.  Eather,  there  lies  an  absolute  con- 
tradiction in  wishing  to  live  without  suffering,  and  this 
contradiction  is  also  implied  in  the  commonly  used  ex- 
pression, "  blessed  life."  This  will  become  perfectly  clear 
to  whoever  comprehends  the  whole  of  the  following  expo- 
sition. In  this  purely  rational  system  of  ethics  the  con- 
tradiction reveals  itself  thus,  the  Stoic  is  obliged  in  his 
doctrine  of  the  way  to  the  blessed  life  (for  that  is  what  his 
ethical  system  always  remains)  to  insert  a  recommenda- 
tion of  suicide  (as  among  the  magnificent  ornaments  and 
apparel  of  Eastern  despots  there  is  always  a  costly  vial 
of  poison)  for  the  case  in  which  the  sufferings  of  the  body, 
which  cannot  be  philosophised  away  by  any  principles  or 
syllogistic  reasonings,  are  paramount  and  incurable ;  thus 
its  one  aim,  blessedness,  is  rendered  vain,  and  nothing 
remains  as  a  mode  of  escape  from  suffering  except  death ; 
in  such  a  case  then  death  must  be  voluntarily  accepted, 
just  as  we  would  take  any  other  medicine.  Here  then  a 
marked  antagonism  is  brought  out  between  the  ethical 
system  of  Stoicism  and  all  those  systems  referred  to  above 
which  make  virtue  in  itself  directly,  and  accompanied  by 
the  most  grievous  sorrows,  their  aim,  and  will  not  allow 
a  man  to  end  his  life  in  order  to  escape  from  suffering. 
Not  one  of  them,  however,  was  able  to  give  the  true 
reason  for  the  rejection  of  suicide,  but  they  laboriously 
collected  illusory  explanations  from  all  sides :  the  true 


120  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 

reason  will  appear  in  the  Fourth  Book  in  the  course  of  the 
development  of  our  system.  But  the  antagonism  referred 
to  reveals  and  establishes  the  essential  difference  in  funda- 
mental principle  between  Stoicism,  which  is  just  a  special 
form  of  endaemonism,  and  those  doctrines  we  have  men- 
tioned, although  both  are  often  at  one  in  their  results, 
and  are  apparently  related.  And  the  inner  contradiction 
referred  to  above,  with  which  the  ethical  system  of 
Stoicism  is  affected  even  in  its  fundamental  thought, 
shows  itself  further  in  the  circumstance  that  its  ideal, 
the  Stoic  philosopher,  as  the  system  itself  represents  him, 
could  never  obtain  life  or  inner  poetic  truth,  but  remains 
a  wooden,  stiff  lay-figure  of  which  nothing  can  be  made. 
He  cannot  himself  make  use  of  his  wisdom,  and  his 
perfect  peace,  contentment,  and  blessedness  directly  con- 
tradict the  nature  of  man,  and  preclude  us  from  forming 
any  concrete  idea  of  him.  When  compared  with  him,  how 
entirely  different  appear  the  overcomers  of  the  world,  and 
voluntary  hermits  that  Indian  philosophy  presents  to  us, 
and  has  actually  produced ;  or  indeed,  the  holy  man  of 
Christianity,  that  excellent  form  full  of  deep  life,  of  the 
greatest  poetic  truth,  and  the  highest  significance,  which 
stands  before  us  in  perfect  virtue,  holiness,  and  sublimity, 
yet  in  a  state  of  supreme  suffering.1 

1  Cf.  Ch.  1 6  of  Supplement. 


THE    WORLD  AS    WILL. 


FIRST  ASPECT. 

THE   OBJECTIFICATION   OF   THE    WILL. 

Nos  habitat,  non  tartara,  sed  nee  sidera  coeli  » 
Spiritus,  in  nobis  qui  viyet,  ilia  facit. 


(      I23     ) 


ill. 
§  17.  In  the  first  book  we  considered  the  idea 
merely  as  such,  that  is,  only  according  to  its  general 
form.  It  is  true  that  as  far  as  the  abstract  idea,  the 
concept,  is  concerned,  we  obtained  a  knowledge  of  it  in 
'respect  of  its  content  also,  because  it  has  content  and 
meaning  only  in  relation  to  the  idea  of  perception,  with- 
out which  it  would  hftjaww4h]pfss  and  emjQty.  Accordingly, 
directing   our  attention  exclusively  to  the  idea  of  per- 

0  ception,  we  shall  now  endeavour  to  arrive  at  a  knowledge 
of  its  content,  its  more  exact  definition,  and  the  forms 
which  it  presents  to  us.  And  it  will  specially  interest 
us  to  find  an  explanation  of  its  peculiar  significance, 
that  significance  which  is  otherwise  merely  felt,  but  on 
account  of  which  it  is  that  these  pictures  do  not  pass  by 
us  entirely  strange  and  meaningless,  as  they  must  other- 

*»  wise  do,  but  speak  to  us  directly,  are  understood,  and 
obtain  an  interest  which  concerns  our  whole  nature. 

We  direct  our  attention  to  mathematics,  natural 
science,  and  philosophy,  for  each  of  these  holds  out  the 
hope  that  it  will  afford  us  a  part  of  the  explanation  we 
desire.  Now,  taking  philosophy  first,  we  find  that  it  is 
like  a  monster  with  many  heads,  each  of  which  speaks  a 
different  language.  They  are  not,  indeed,  all  at  variance 
on  the  point  we  are  here  considering,  the  significance  of 

•  the  idea  of  perception.  For,  with  the  exception  of  the 
Sceptics  and  the  Idealists, the  others,  for  the  most  part,  speak 

^  very  much  in  the  same  way  of  an  object  which  constitutes 
the  basis  of  the  idea,  and  which  is  indeed  different  in  its 
whole  being  and  nature  from  the  idea,  but  yet  is  in  all 


124 


THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  UK.  n. 


points  as  like  it  as  one  egg  is  to  another.  But^this  does 
not  help  us,  for  we  are  quite  unable  to  distinguish  such 
an  object  from  the  idea ;  we  find  that  they  are  one  and 
the  same ;  for  every  object  always  and  for  ever  presup- 
poses a  subject,  and  therefore  remains  idea,  so  that  we 
recognised  objectivity  as  belonging  to  the  most  universal 
form  of  the  idea,  which  is  the  division  into  subject  and 
object.  Further,  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason,  which 
is  referred  to  in  support  of  this  doctrine,  is  for  us  merely 
the  form  of  the  idea,  the  orderly  combination  of  one  idea 
with  another,  but  not  the  combination  of  the  whole  finite 
or  infinite  series  of  ideas  with  something  which  is  not 
idea  at  all,  and  which  cannot  therefore  be  presented  in 
perception.  Of  the  Sceptics  and  Idealists  we  spoke 
above,  in  examining  the  controversy  about  the  reality  of 
the  outer  world. 

If  we  turn  to  mathematics  to  look  for  the  fuller 
knowledge  we  desire  of  the  idea  of  perception,  which  we 
have,  as  yet,  only  understood  generally,  merely  in  its 
form,  we  find  that  mathematics  only  treats  of  these 
ideas  so  far  as  they  fill  time  and  space,  that  is,  so 
far  as  they  are  quantities.  It  will  tell  us  with  the 
greatest  accuracy  the  how-many  and  the  how-much; 
but  as  this  is  always  merely  relative,  that  is  to  say, 
merely  a  comparison  of  one  idea  with  others,  and  a  com- 
parison only  in  the  one  respect  of  quantity,  this  also  is 
not  the  information  we  are  principally  in  search  of. 

Lastly,  if  we  turn  to  the  wide  province  of  natural 
science,  which  is  divided  into  many  fields,  we  may,  in  the 
first  place,  make  a  general  division  of  it  into  two  parts. 
It  is  either  the  description  of  forms,  which  I  call  Mor- 
phology, or  the  explanation  of  changes,  which  I  call 
Etiology.  The  first  treats  of  the  permanent  forms,  the 
second  of  the  changing  matter,  according  to  the  laws  of 
its  transition  from  one  form  to  another.  The  first  is 
the  whole  extent  of  what  is  generally  called  natural 
history.     It  teaches    us,    especially    in    the    sciences    of 


THE  0BJECTIF1CAT10N  OF  THE  WILL.  125 

botany  and  zoology,  the  various  permanent,  organised, 
and  therefore  definitely  determined  forms  in  the  constant 
change  of  individuals ;  and  these  forms  constitute  a  great 
part  of  the  content  of  the  idea  of  perception.  In  natural 
history  they  are  classified,  separated,  united,  arranged 
according  to  natural  and  artificial  systems,  and  brought 
under  concepts  which  make  a  general  view  and  know- 
ledge of  the  whole  of  them  possible.  Further,  an 
infinitely  fine  analogy  both  in  the  whole  and  in  the 
parts  of  these  forms,  and  running  through  them  all 
{unite  de  plan),  is  established,  and  thus  they  may  be  com- 
pared to  innumerable  variations  on  a  theme  which  is  not 
given.  The  passage  of  matter  into  these  forms,  that  is  to 
say,  the  origin  of  individuals,  is  not  a  special  part  of 
natural  science,  for  every  individual  springs  from  its  like 
by  generation,  which  is  everywhere  equally  mysterious, 
and  has  as  yet  evaded  definite  knowledge.  The  little  that 
is  known  on  the  subject  finds  its  place  in  physiology, 
which  belongs  to  that  part  of  natural  science  I  have  called 
etiology.  Mineralogy  also,  especially  where  it  becomes 
geology,  inclines  towards  etiology,  though  it  principally 
belongs  to  morphology.  Etiology  proper  comprehends  all 
those  branches  of  natural  science  in  which  the  chief  con- 
cern is  the  knowledge  of  cause  and  eilect.  The  sciences 
teach  how,  according  to  an  invariable  rule,  one  condition 
of  matter  is  necessarily  followed  by  a  certain  other  condi- 
tion ;  how  one  change  necessarily  conditions  and  brings 
about  a  certain  other  change ;  this  sort  of  teaching  is  called 
explanation.  The  principal  sciences  in  this  department 
are  mechanics,  physics,  chemistry,  and  physiology. 

If,  however,  we  surrender  ourselves  to  its  teaching,  we 
soon  become  convinced  that  etiology  cannot  afford  us  the 
information  we  chiefly  desire,  any  more  than  morphology. 
The  latter  presents  to  us  innumerable  and  infinitely 
varied  forms,  which  are  yet  related  by  an  unmistakable 
family  likeness.  These  are  for  us  ideas,  and  when  only 
treated  in  this  way,  they  remain  always  strange  to  us. 


126  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  bk.  ii. 

and  stand  before  us  like  hieroglyphics  which  we  do  not 
understand.  Etiology,  on  the  other  hand,  teaches  us  that, 
according  to  the  law  of  cause  and  effect,  this  particular 
condition  of  matter  brings  about  that  other  particular 
condition,  and  thus  it  has  explained  it  and  performed  its 
part.  However,  it  really  does  nothing  more  than  indi- 
cate the  orderly  arrangement  according  to  which  the 
states  of  matter  appear  in  space  and  time,  and  teach  in 
all  cases  what  phenomenon  must  necessarily  appear  at  a 
particular  time  in  a  particular  place.  It  thus  determines 
the  position  of  phenomena  in  time  and  space,  according 
to  a  law  whose  special  content  is  derived  from  experience, 
but  whose  universal  form  and  necessity  is  yet  known  to 
us  independently  of  experience.  But  it  affords  us  abso- 
lutely no  information  about  the  inner  nature  of  any  one 
of  these  phenomena :  this  is  called  a  force  of  nature,  and 
it  lies  outside  the  province  of  causal  explanation,  winch 
calls  the  constant  uniformity  with  which  manifestations 
of  such  a  force  appear  whenever  their  known  conditions 
are  present,  a  law  of  nature.  But  this  law  of  nature, 
these  conditions,  and  this  appearance  in  a  particular 
place  at  a  particular  time,  are  all  that  it  knows  or  ever 
can  know.  The  force  itself  which  manifests  itself,  the 
inner  nature  of  the  phenomena  which  appear  in  accord- 
ance with  these  laws,  remains  always  a  secret  to  it, 
something  entirely  strange  and  unknown  in  the  case  of 
the  simplest  as  well  as  of  the  most  complex  phenomena. 
For  although  as  yet  etiology  has  most  completely 
achieved  its  aim  in  mechanics,  and  least  completely  in 
physiology,  still  the  force  on  account  of  which  a  stone 
falls  to  the  ground  or  one  body  repels  another  is,  in  its 
inner  nature,  not  less  strange  and  mysterious  than  that 
which  produces  the  movements  and  the  growth  of  an 
animal.  The  science  of  mechanics  presupposes  matter, 
weight,  impenetrability,  the  possibility  of  communicating 
motion  by  impact,  inertia  and  so  forth  as  ultimate  facts, 
calls    them   forces   of    nature,  and  their   necessary   and 


THE  OBJECTIFICATION  OF  THE  WILL.         127 

orderly  appearance  under  certain  conditions  a  law  of 
nature.  Only  after  this  does  its  explanation  begin,  and 
it  consists  in  indicating  truly  and  with  mathematical 
exactness,  how,  where  and  when  each  force  manifests 
itself,  and  in  referring  every  phenomenon  which  presents 
itself  to  the  operation  of  one  of  these  forces.  Physics, 
chemistry,  and  physiology  proceed  in  the  same  way  in 
their  province,  only  they  presuppose  more  and  accom- 
plish less.  Consequently  the  most  complete  etiological  # 
explanation  oftne  whole  of  nature  can  never  be  more 
than  an  enumeration  of  forces  which  cannot  be  explained, 
and  a  reliable  statement  of  the  rule  according  to  which 
phenomena  appear  in  time  and  space,  succeed,  and  make 
way  for  each  other.  But  the  inner  nature  of  the  forces 
which  thus  appear  remains  unexplained  by  such  an  ex- 
planation, which  must  confine  itself  to  phenomena  and 
their  arrangement,  because  the  law  which  it  follows  does 
not  extend  further.  In  this  respect  it  may  be  compared 
to  a  section  of  a  piece  of  marble  which  shows  many  veins 
beside  each  other,  but  does  not  allow  us  to  trace  the 
course  of  the  veins  from  the  interior  of  the  marble  to  its 
oirrface.  Or,  if  I  may  use  an  absurd  but  more  striking*  i 
comparison,  the  philosophical  investigator  must  always  I 
have  the  same  feeling  towards  the  complete  etiology  of 
the  whole  of  nature,  as  a  man  who,  without  knowing  how, 
has  been  brought  into  a  company  quite  unknown  to  him,  j 
each  member  of  which  in  turn  presents  another  to  him 
as  his  friend  and  cousin,  and  therefore  as  quite  well 
known,  and  yet  the  man  himself,  while  at  each  intro- 
duction he  expresses  himself  gratified,  has  always  the 
question  on  his  lips :  "  But  how  the  deuce  do  I  stand  to 
the  whole  company  ?" 

Thus  we  see  that,  with  regard  to  those  phenomena 
which  we  know  only  as  our  ideas,  etiology  can  never 
give  us  the  desired  information  that  shall  carry  us  be- 
yond this  point.  For,  after  all  its  explanations,  they  still 
remain  quite  strange  to  us,  as  mere  ideas  whose  signifi- 


I28  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  bk.  ii. 

cance  we  do  not  understand.  The  causal  connection 
merely  gives  us  the  rule  and  the  relative  order  of  their 
'  appearance  in  space  and  time,  but  affords  us  no  further 
knowledge  of  that  which  so  appears.  Moreover,  the  law 
of  causality  itself  has  only  validity  for  ideas,  for  objects 
of  a  definite  class,  and  it  has  meaning  only  in  so  far  as  it 
presupposes  them.  Thus,  like  these  objects  themselves, 
it  always  exists  only  in  relation  to  a  subject,  that  is,  con- 
ditionally;  and  so  it  is  known  just  as  well  if  we 
start  from  the  subject,  i.e.,  a  priori,  as  if  we  start  from 
the  object,  i.e.,  a  posteriori.  Kant  indeed  has  taught  us 
this. 

But  what  now  impels  us  to  inquiry  is  just  that  we  are 
not  satisfied  with  knowing  that  we  have  ideas,  that  they 
are  such  and  such,  and  that  they  are  connected  according 
to  certain  laws,  the  general  expression  of  which  is  the 
principle  of  sufficient  reason.  We  wish  to  know  the 
•  significance  of  these  ideas ;  we  ask  whether  this  world  is 
merely  idea ;  in  which  case  it  would  pass  by  us  like  an 
empty  dream  or  a  baseless  vision,  not  worth  our  notice ; 
or  whether  it  is  also  something  else,  something  more  than 
idea,  and  if  so,  what  Thus  much  is  certain,  that  this 
^  something  we  seek  for  must  be  completely  and  in  its 
whole  nature  different  from  the  idea ;  that  the  forms  and 
laws  of  the  idea  must  therefore  be  completely  foreign  to 
it;  further,  that  we  cannot  arrive  at  it  from  the  idea 
under  the  guidance  of  the  laws  which  merely  combine 
objects,  ideas,  among  themselves,  and  which  are  the  forms 
of  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason. 

Thus  we  see  already  that  we  can  never  arrive  at  the 
.  real  nature  of  things  from  without.  However  much  we 
investigate,  we  can  never  reach  anything  but  images  and 
names.  We  are  like  a  man  who  goes  round  a  castle 
seeking  in  vain  for  an  entrance,  and  sometimes  sketcliing 
the  facades.  And  yet  this  is  the  method  that  has  been 
followed  by  all  philosophers  before  me. 
r    S  1 8.  In  fact,  the  meaning  for  which  we  seek  of  that 


THE  OBJECTIFICATION  OF  THE  WILL.  129 

world  which  is  present  to  us  only  as  our  idea,  or  the 
transition  from  the  world  as  mere  idea  of  the  knowing 
subject  to  whatever  it  may  be  besides  this,  would  never  be 
found  if  the  investigator  himself  were  nothing  more  than 
the  pure  knowing  subject  (a  winged  cherub  without  a 
body).  But  he  is  himself  rooted  in  that  world ;  he  finds 
himself  in  it  as  an  individual,  that  is  to  say,  his  know- 
ledge, which  is  the  necessary  supporter  of  the  whole 
world  as  idea,  is  yet  always  given  through  the  medium  of 
a  body,  whose  affections  are,  as  we  have  shown,  the  start- 
9  ing-point  for  the  understanding  in  the  perception  of  that 
worldJ^His  body  is,  for  the  pure  knowing  subject,  an 

•  idea  Cke  every  other  idea,  an  object  among  objects.  Its 
movements  and  actions  are  so  far  known  to  him  in  pre- 

\  cisely  the  same  way  as  the  changes  of  all  other  perceived 
objects,  and  would  be  just  as  strange  and  incompre- 
hensible to  him  if  their  meaning  were  not  explained^  f or 
him  in., an  entirely  different  way.  Otherwise  he  would 
see  his  actions  follow  upon  given  motives  with  the  con- 
stancy of  a  law  of  nature,  just  as  the  changes  of  other 
objects  follow  upon  causes,  stimuli,  or  motives.  But  he 
would  not  understand  the  influence  of  the  motives  any 
more  than  the  connection  between  every  other  effect 
which  he  sees  and  its  cause.  He  would  then  call  the 
inner  nature  of  these  manifestations  and  actions  of  his 

#  body  which  he  did  not  understand  a  force,  a  quality,  or 
a  character,  as  he  pleased,  but  he  would  have  no  further 
insight  into  it.  But  all  this  is  not  the  case ;  indeed^the 
answer  to  the  ricTale  is  given  to  the  subject  of  know- 

f  ledge  who  appears  as  an  individual,  and  the  answer  is 
will.    This  and  this  alone  gives  him  the  key  to  his  own 

»  existence,  reveals  to  him  the  significance,  shows  him  the 
inner  mechanism  of  his  being,  of  his  action,  of  his  move- 
ments.    The  body  is  given  in  two  entirely  different  ways 

^to  the  subject  of  knowledge,  who  becomes  an  individual 
only  through  his  identity  with  it.     It  is  given  as  an  idea  • 
in  intelligent  perception,  as  an  object  among  objects  and 
vol.  1.  1 


v 


i3o 


THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  bk.  11 


subject  to  the  laws  of  objects.     And  it  is  also  given  in 

*  quite  a  different  way  as  that  which  is  immediately  known 
to  every  one,  and  is  signified  by  the  word  will.  J  Every 
true    act   of   his   will   is   also    at    once    and    without 

*  exception  a  movement  of  his  body.  The  act  of  will  and 
the  movement  of  the  body  are  not  two  different  things 
objectively  known,  which  the  bond  of  causality  unites; 
they  do  not  stand  in  the  relation  of  cause  and  effect; 
they  are    one   and   the    same,   but   they    are   given  in 

*'  entirely  different  ways^unmediately,  and  again  in 
perception    for   the   understanding.     Inaction   of  the 

,  body  is  nothing  but  the  act  of  the  wit  objectified,  i.e., 
passed  into  perception.  It  will  appear  later  that  this  is 
true  of  every  movement  of  the  body,  i.ot  merely  those 

•  which  follow  upon  motives,  but  also  involuntary  move- 
ments which  follow  upon  mere  stimuli,>^nd,  indeed,  that 

x  the  whole  body  is  nothing  but  objectified  will,  i.e.,  will 
become  idea.  All  this  will  be  proved  and  made  quite 
clear  in  the  course  of  this  work.  In  one  respect,  there- 
fore, I  shall  call  the  body  the  objectivity  of  will  ;  as  in 
the  previous  book,  and  in  the  essay  on  the  principle  of 
sufficient  reason,  in  accordance  with  the  one-sided  point 
of  view  intentionally  adopted  there  (that  of  the  idea),  I 
called  it  the  immediate  object.     Thus  in  a  certain  sense 

j  we  may  also  say  that  will  is  the  knowledge  a  priori  of 
the  body,  and  the  body  is  the  knowledge  a  posteriori  of 
the  will.  Resolutions  of  the  will  which  relate  to  the 
future  are  merely  deliberations  of  the  reason  about  what 
we  shall  will  at  a  particular  time,  not  real  acts  of  wilL 

y  Only  the  carrying  out  of  the  resolve  stamps  it  as  will,  for 
till  then  it  is  never  more  than  an  intention  that  may  be 
changed,  and  that  exists  only  in  the  reason  in  abstracto. 
It  is  only  in  reflection  that  to  will  and  to  act  are  different ; 
in  reality  they  are  one.     Every  true,  genuine,  immediate 

.  act  of  will  is  also,  at  once  and  immediately,  a  visible  act 
of  the  body.     And,  corresponding  to  this,  every  inipres- 

•  sion  upon  the  body  is  also,  on  the  other  hand,  at  once 


THE  OBJECTIFICATION  OF  THE  WILL. 


131 


and  immediately  an  impression  upon  the  will.     As  such 
I   it  is  called  pain  when  it  is  opposed  to  the  will ;  gratifi-  , 
cation  or  pleasure  when  it  is  in  accordance  with  it.     The 
degrees  of  both  are  widely  different.     It  is  quite  wrong,  ~ 
r  however,  to  call  pain  and  pleasure  ideas,  for  they  are  by 
}  no  means  ideas,  but  immediate  affections  of  the  will  in  *) 
I  its  manifestation,  the  body ;    compulsory,   instantaneous 
I  willing  or  not-willing  of  the  impression  which  the  body 
tustains.     There  are  only  a  few  impressions  of  the  body  , 
which  do  not  touch  the  will,  and  it  is  through  these  alone  * 
that  the  body  is  an  immediate  object  of  knowledge,  for, 
as  perceived  by  the  understanding,  it  is  already  an  indi- 
rect object  like  aU  others.     These  impressions  are,  there- 
fore, to  be  treated  directly  as  mere  ideas,  and  excepted 
from  what  has  been  said.     The  impressions  we  refer  to 
are  the  affections  of  the  purely  objective  senses  of  sight, 
hearing,  and  touch,  though  only  so  far  as  these  organs^are" 
affected  in  the  way  which  is  specially  peculiar  to  their 
specific  nature.     This  affection  of  them  is  so  excessively 
weak  an  excitement  of  the  heightened  and  specifically 
modified  sensibility  of  these  parts  that  it  does  not  affect 
the  will,  but  only  furnishes  the  understanding  with  the 
data  out  of  which  the  perception  arises,  undisturbed  by 
any  excitement  of  the  will     But  every  stronger  or  diffe- 
rent kind  of  affection  of  these  organs  of  sense  is  painful, 
that  is  to  say,  against  the  will,  and  thus  they  also  belong    * 
to  its  objectivity.     Weakness  of  the  nerves  shows  itself 
in  this,  that  the  impressions  which  have  only  such  a 
degree  of  strength  as  would  usually  be  sufficient  to  make 
them  data  for  the  understanding  reach  the  higher  degree 
at  which  they  influence  the  will,  that  is  to  say,  give  pain 
or  pleasure,  though  more  often  pain,  which  is,  however, 
to  some  extent  deadened  and  inarticulate,  so  that  not  only 
particular  tones  and  strong  light  are  painful  to  us,  but 
there  ensues  a  generally  unhealthy  and  hypochondriacal 
disposition    which    is    not    distinctly    understood.      The 
identity  of  the  bodv  and  the  will  shows  itself  further    ' 


,32  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  BK.  II. 

among  other  ways,  in  the  circumstance  that  every  vehe- 
%  ment  and  excessive  movement  of  the  will,  Le.t  every 
emotion,  agitates  the  body  and  its  inner  constitution 
directly  and  disturbs  the  course  of  its  vital  functions. 
This  is  shown  in  detail  in  "  Will  in  Nature,"  p.  27  of  the 
second  edition  and  p.  28  of  the  third. 

Lastly,  the  knowledge  which  I  have  of  my  will,  though 
.     it  iTunmediate,  cannot  be  separated  from  that  which  I 
have  of  my  body.  P f  know  my  will,  not  as  a  whole,  not 
as  a  unity,  not  completely,  according  to  its  nature,  but  I 
k     know  it  only  in  its  particular  acts,  and  therefore  in  time, 
•       which  is  the  form  of  the  phenomenal  aspect  of  my  body, 
/    as  of  every  object^     Therefore  the  body  is  a  condition  of 
•  the  knowledge  of  my  will.     Thus,  I  cannot  really  imagine 
this  will   apart  from  my  body.j  In  the  essay  on   the 
principle  of  sufficient  reason,  the  will,  or  rather  the  sub- 
ject of  willing,  is  treated  as  a  special  class  of  ideas  or 
objects.     But  even  there  we  saw  this  object  become  one 
with   the  subject;   that  is,  we  saw  it  cease  to  be  an 
object.     We  there    called  this  union  the  miracle  ko,t 
ePoyvv,  and  the  whole  of  the  present  work  is  to  a  certain 
extent  an  explanation  of   this.     So  far  as  I  know  my 
will  specially  as 'object,  I  know  it  as  body.     But  then  I 
am  aoain  at  the  first  class  of  ideas  laid  down  m  that 
essay,°  ie.,  real  objects.     As  we  proceed  we  shall  see 
always  more  clearly  that  these  ideas  of  the  first  class 
obtain  their  explanation  and  solution  from  those  of  the 
fourth  class  given  in  the  essay,  which  could  no  longer  be 
properly  opposed  to  the  subject  as  object,  and  that,  there- 
fore  we  must  learn  to  understand  the  inner  nature  of  the 
law'of  causality  which  is  valid  in  the  first  class,  and  of 
all  that  happens  in  accordance  with  it  from  the  law  of 
motivation  which  governs  the  fourth  class. 

The  identity  of  the  will  and  the  body,  of  which  we 
have  now  given  a  cursory  explanation,  can  only  be  proved  in 
the  manner  we  have  adopted  here.  We  have  proved 
this  identity  for  the  first  time,  and  shall  do  so  more  and 


THE  OBJECTIFICATION  OF  THE  WILL.  133 

more  fully  in  the  course  of  this  work.  Bv_  "  proved " 
we  mean  raised  from  the  immediate  consciousness,  from 
knowledge  in  the  concrete  to  abstract  knowledge  of  the 
reason,  or  carried  over  into  abstract  knowledge.  On  the 
ofcher  hand,  from  its  very  nature  it  can  never  be  demon- 
strated, that  is,  deduced  as  indirect  knowledge  from  some 
other  more  direct  knowledge,  just  because  it  is  itself  the 
most  direct  knowledge;  and  if  we  do  not  apprehend  it  and 
stick  to  it  as  such,  we  shall  expect  in  vain  to  receive  it 
again  in  some  indirect  way  as  derivative  knowledge.  It 
is  knowledge  of  quite  a  special  kind,  whose  truth  cannot 
therefore  properly  be  brought  under  any  of  the  four 
rubrics  under  which  I  have  classified  all  truth  in  the 
essay  on  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason,  §  29,  the 
logical,  the  empirical,  the  metaphysical,  and  the  meta- 
logical,  for  it  is  not,  like  all  these,  the  relation  of  an 
abstract  idea  to  another  idea,  or  to  the  necessary  form 
of  perceptive  or  of  abstract  ideation,  but  it  is  the  relation, 
of  a  judgment  to  the  connection  which  an  idea  of  per- 
ception, the  body,  has  to  that  which  is  not  an  idea  at 
all,  but  something  toto  genere  different,  will.  I  should 
like  therefore  to  distinguish  this  from  all  other  truth, 
and  call  it  kclt  e^o^W  philosophical  truth.  We  can 
turn  the  expression  of  this  truth  in  different  ways  and 
say :  My  body  and  my  will  are  one ; — or,  What  as  an  idea 
of  perception  I  call  my  body,  I  call  my  will,  so  far  as  I  am 
conscious  of  it  in  an  entirely  different  way  which  cannot 
be  compared  to  any  other ; — or,  My  body  is  the  objectivity 
of  my  will ; — or,  My  body  considered  apart  from  the  fact 
that  it  is  my  idea  is  still  my  will,  and  so  forth.1 

§  1 9.  In  the  first  book  we  were  reluctantly  driven  to 
explain  the  human  body  as  merely  idea  of  the  subject 
which  knows  it,  like  all  the  other  objects  of  this  world 
of  perception.  But  it  has  now  become  clear  that  what 
enables  us  consciously  to  distinguish  our  own  body  from 
all  other  objects  which  in  other  respects  are  precisely  the 

1  Cf.  Ch.  xviii.  of  the  Supplement. 


i34  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  BK.  IL 

same,  is  that  our  body  appears  in  consciousness  in  quite 
another  way  toto  generc  different  from  idea,  and  this  we 
denote  by  the  word  will ;  and  that  it  is  just  this  double 
knowledge  which  we  have  of  our  own  body  that  affords 
us  information  about  it,  about  its  action  and  movement 
following  on  motives,  and  also  about  what  it  experiences 
by  means  of  external  impressions ;  in  a  word,  about  what 
it  is,  not  as  idea,  but  as  more  than  idea ;  that  is  to  say, 
what  it  is  in  itself.  None  of  this  information  have  we 
got  directly  with  regard  to  the  nature,  action,  and  ex- 
perience of  other  real  objects. 

It  is  just  because  of  this  special  relation  to  one  body 
that  the  knowing  subject  is  an  individual.  For  regarded 
apart  from  this  relation,  his  body  is  for  him  only  an  idea 
like  all  other  ideas.  But  the  relation  through  which  the 
knowing  subject  is  an  individual,  is  just  on  that  account, 
a  relation  which  subsists  only  between  him  and  one  par- 
ticular idea  of  all  those  which  he  has.  Therefore  he  is 
conscious  of  this  one  idea,  not  merely  as  an  idea,  but  in 
quite  a  different  way  as  a  will.  If,  however,  he  abstracts 
from  that  special  relation,  from  that  twofold  and  com- 
pletely heterogeneous  knowledge  of  what  is  one  and  the 
same,  then  that  one,  the  body,  is  an  idea  like  all  other 
ideas.  Therefore,  in  order  to  understand  the  matter,  the 
individual  who  knows  must  either  assume  that  what 
distinguishes  that  one  idea  from  others  is  merely  the 
fact  that  his  knowledge  stands  in  this  double  relation  to  it 
alone ;  that  insight  in  two  ways  at  the  same  time  is  open 
to  him  only  in  the  case  of  this  one  object  of  perception, 
and  that  this  is  to  be  explained  not  by  the  difference  of  this 
object  from  all  others,  but  only  by  the  difference  between 
the  relation  of  liis  knowledge  to  this  one  object,  and  its  re- 
lation to  all  other  objects.  Or  else  he  must  assume  that 
this  object  is  essentially  different  from  all  others ;  that  it 
alone  of  all  objects  is  at  once  both  will  and  idea,  while 
the  rest  are  only  ideas,  i.e.,  only  phantoms.  Thus  he 
must  assume  that  lus  body  is  the  only  real  individual  in 


,b 
/  oj 


THE  OBJECTIFICATION  OF  THE   WILL.  135 

fche  world,  i.e.,  the  only  phenomenon  of  will  and  the  only 
immediate  object  of  the  subject.  That  other  objects, 
considered  merely  as  ideas,  are  like  his  body,  that  is,  like 
it,  fill  space  (which  itself  can  only  be  present  as  idea), 
and  also,  like  it,  are  causally  active  in  space,  is  indeed 
demonstrably  certain  from  the  law  of  causality  which  is 
a  priori  valid  for  ideas,  and  which  admits  of  no  effect 
without  a  cause ;  but  apart  from  the  fact  that  we  can 
only  reason  from  an  effect  to  a  cause  generally,  and  not 
to  a  similar  cause,  we  are  still  in  the  sphere  of  mere 
ideas,  in  which  alone  the  law  of  causality  .  is.,  valid,  and 
beyond  which  it  can  never  take  us.  Bute  whether  the 
objects  known  to  the  individual  only  as  ideas  are  yet, 
like  his  own  body,  manifestations  of  a  will,  is,  as  way 
said  in  the  First  Book,  the  proper  meaning  of  the  question 
as  to  the  reality  of  the  external  world.  To  deny  this  is 
theoretical  egoism,  which  on  that  account  regards  all 
phenomena  that  are  outside  its  own  will  as  phantoms,  just 
as  in  a  practical  reference  exactly  the  same  thing  is  done 
by  practical  egoism.  For  in  it  a  man  regards  and  treats 
himself  alone  as  a  person,  and  all  other  persons  as  mere 
phantoms.  Theoretical  egoism  can  never  be  demon- 
strably refuted,  yet  in  philosophy  it  has  never  been  used 
otherwise  than  as  a  sceptical  sophism,  i.e.,  a  pretence. 
As  a  serious  conviction,  on  the  other  hand,  it  could  only 
e  found  in  a  madhouse,  and  as  such  it  stands  in  need 
of  a  cure  rather  than  a  refutation.  We  do  not  therefore 
combat  it  any .  further  in  this  regard,  but  treat  it  as 
merely  the  last  stronghold  of  scepticism,  which  is  always 
polemical.  Thus  our  knowledge,  which  is  always  bound 
to  mdividuaGEy^and  is  limited  by  this  circumstance, 
brings  with  it  the  necessity  that  each  of  us  can  only  he 
one,  while,  on  the  other  hand,  each  of  us  can  know  all ; 
and  it  is  this  limitation  that  creates  the  need  for  philo- 
sophy. We  therefore  who,  for  this  very  reason,  are  striving 
to  extend  the  limits  of  our  knowledge  through  philosophy, 
will  treat  this  sceptical  argument  of  theoretical  egoism 


136  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  bk.  U. 

which  meets  us,  as  an  army  would  treat  a  small  frontier 
fortress.  The  fortress  cannot  indeed  be  taken,  but  the 
garrison  can  never  sally  forth  from  it,  and  therefore  we 
pass  it  by  without  danger,  and  are  not  afraid  to  have  it 
in  our  rear. 

The  double  knowledge  which  each  of  us  has  of  the 
nature  and  activity  of  his  own  body,  and  which  is  given 
in  two  completely  different  ways,  has  now  been  clearly 
brought  out  'VVe^sJiall  accordingly  make  further  use  of 
it  as  ajgey  to  the  nature  of  every  phenomenon  in  nature, 
and  shall  judge  of  all  objects  which  are  not  our  own 
bodies,  and  are  consequently  not  given  to  our  conscious- 

v  ness  in  a  double  way  but  only  as  ideas,  according  to  the 
analogy  of  our  own  bodies,  and  shall  therefore  assume 
that  as  in  one  aspect  they  are  idea,  just  like  our  bodies, 
and  in  this  respect  are  analogous  to  them,  so  in  another 
aspect,  what  remains  of  objects  when  we  set  aside  their 
,  existence  as  idea  of  the  subject,  must  in  its  inner  nature 
be  the  same  as  that  in  us  winch  we  call  will.  For  what 
other  kind  of  existence  or  reality  should  we  attribute  to 
the  rest  of  the  material  world  ?  Whence  should  we  take 
the  elements  out  of  which  we  construct  such  a  world  ? 
I  Besides  will  and  idea  nothing  is  known  to  us  or  thinkable. 
If  we  wish  to  attribute  the  greatest  known  reality  to  the 
material  world  which  exists  immediately  only  in  our 
idea,  we  give  it  the  reality  which  our  own  body  has  for 
each  of  us  ;  for  that  is  the  most  real  thing  for  every  one.  < 
But  if  we  now  analyse  the  reality  of  this  body  and  its 
actions,  beyond  the  fact  that  it  is  idea,  we  find  nothing 
in  it  except  the  will ;  with  tins  its  reality  is  exhausted.  * 
Therefore  we  can  nowhere  find  another  kind  of  reality 
which  we  can  attribute  to  the  material  world.  Thus  if 
we  hold  that  the  material  world  is  something  more  than 
merely  our  idea,  we  must  say  that  besides  being  idea,  that 
is,  in  itself  and  according  to  its  inmost  nature,  it  is  that 

*  which  we  find  immediately  in  ourselves  as  will.     1  say 
according  to  its  inmost  nature;  but  we  must  first  come 


THE  OBJECTIFICATION  OF  THE  WILL.  137 

to  know  more  accurately  this  real  nature  of  the  will,  in 
order  that  we  may  be  able  to  distinguish  from  it  what 
does  not  belong  to  itself,  but  to  its  manifestation,  which 
has  many  grades.  Such,  for  example,  is  the  circum- 
stance of  its  being  accompanied  by  knowledge,  and  the 
determination  by  motives  which  is  conditioned  by  this 
knowledge.  As  we  shall  see  farther  on,  this  does  not 
belong  to  the  real  nature  of  will,  but  merely  to  its  dis- 
tinct manifestation  as  an  animal  or  a  human  being.  If, 
therefore  I  say, — the  force  which  attracts  a  stone  to  the 
earth  is  according  to  its  nature,  in  itself,  and  apart  from 
all  idea,  will,  I  shall  not  be  supposed  to  express  in  this 
proposition  the  insane  opinion  that  the  stone  moves  itself 
in  accordance  with  a  known  motive,  merely  because  this 
is  the  way  in  which  will  appears  in  man.1  We  shall 
now  proceed  more  clearly  and  in  detail  to  prove,  estab- 
lish, and  develop  to  its  full  extent  what  as  yet  has  only 
been  provisionally  and  generally  explained.2 

§  20.  As  we  have  said,  the  will  proclaims  itself  primarily 
in  the  voluntary  movements  of  our  own  body,  as  the 
inmost  nature  of  this  body,  as  that  which  it  is  besides 
being  object  of  perception,  idea.  For  these  voluntary 
movements  are  nothing  else  than  the  visible  aspect  of  the 
"individual  acts  of  will,  with  which  they  are  directly  coin- 
cident and  identical,  and  only  distinguished  through  the 
form  of  knowledge  into  which  they  have  passed,  and  in 
which  alone  they  can  be  known,  the  form  of  idea. 

But  these  acts  of  will  have  always  a  ground  or  reason 
I  outside  themselves  in^  motives.  Yet  these  motives  never 
*  determine  more  than  what  I  will  at  this  time,  in  this 

1  We  can  thus  by  no  means  agree  Planeta  Martis,   that    the    planets 

with  Bacon  if  he  (DeAugm.  Scient.,  must  have   knowledge  in  order  to 

L.  iv.  in  fine.)  thinks  that  all  me-  keep  their  elliptical  courses  so  cor- 

chanical  and  physical  movement  of  rectly,  and  to  regulate  the  velocity 

bodies    has    always  been  preceded  of  their  motion  so  that  the  triangle 

by  perception  in  these  bodies;  though  of  the  plane  of  their  course  always 

a  glimmering  of  truth  lies  at  the  remains  proportional  to  the  time  in 

bottom   of    this    false    proposition,  which  they  pass  through  its  base. 

This  is  also  the  case  with  Kepler's  2  Cf .  Ch.  xix.  of  the  Supplement, 
opinion,  expressed   in  his   essay  De 


138  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  BK.  H 

place,  and  under  these  circumstances,  not  that  I  will  in 
general,  or  what  I  will  in  general,  that  is,  the  maxims 
which  characterise  my  volition  generally.  Therefore  the 
inner  nature  of  my  volition  cannot  bejsxplained  from ihesa- 
motives ;  but  they  merely  determine  its  manifestation  at 
a  given  point  of  time :  they  are  merely  the  occasion  of 
my  will  showing  itself ;  but  the  will  itself  lies  outside 
the  province  of  the  law  of  motivation,  which  determines 
nothing  but  its  appearance  at  each  point  of  time,  /it  is 
only  under  the  presupposition  of  my  empirical  character 
that  the  motive  is  a  sufficient  ground  of  explanation  of 
my  action.  But  if  I  abstract  from  my  character,  and 
then  ask,  wky,~m  general,  I  will  this  and  not  that,  no 
answer  is  possible,  because  it  is  only,  thajaanifestation  of 
the  will  that  is  subject  to  the  principle,  of  sufficient- 
reason,  and  not  the  will  itself,  which  in  this  respect  is  to 
be  called  groundless.  //  At  this  point  I  presuppose  Kant's 
doctrine  of  the  empirical  and  intelligible  character,  and 
also  my  own  treatment  of  the  subject  in  "  The  Funda- 
mental Problems  of  Ethics,"  pp.  48,  58,  and  178,  et  seq.t 
of  first  edition  (p.  174,  et  seq.,  of  second  edition).  I 
shall  also  have  to  speak  more  fully  on  the  question  in 
the  Fourth  Book.  For  the  present,  I  have  only  to  draw 
attention  to  this,  that  the  fact  of  one  manifestation  being 
established  through  another,  as  here  the  deed  through  the 
motive,  does  not  at  all  conflict  with  the  fact  that  its  real 
nature  is  will,  winch  itself  has  no  ground ;  for  as  the 
principle  of  sufficient  reason  in  all  its  aspects  is  only  the 
form  of  knowledge,  its  validity  extends  only  to  the  idea, 
to  the  phenomena,  to  the  visibility  of  the  will,  but  not  to 
the  will  itself,  winch  becomes  visible. 

4f  jiow  every  action  of  my  body  is  the  manifestation  of 
an  act  of  will  in  which  my  will  itself  in  general,  and  as 
a  whole,  thus  my  character,  expresses  itself  under  given 
motives,  manifestation  of  the  will  must  be  the  inevitable 
condition  and  presupposition  of  every  action.  For  the 
fact  of  its  manifestation  cannot  depend  upon  something 


THE  OBJECTIFICATION  OF  THE  WILL.  139 

which  does  not  exist  directly  and  only  through  it,  which 
consequently  is  for  it  merely  accidental,  and  through 
which  its  manifestation  itself  would  be  merely  accidental. 
Now  that  condition  is  just  the  whole  body  itself.  Thus  ; 
the  body  itself  must  be  manifestation  of  the  will,  and  it  • 
must  be  related  to  my  will  as  a  whole,  that  is,  to  my 
intelligible  character,  whose  phenomenal  appearance  in 
time  is  my  empirical  character,  as  the  particular  action 
of  the  body  is  related  to  the  particular  act  of  the 
will.  The  whole  body,  then,  must  be  simply  my  will 
become  visible,  must  be  my  will  itself,  so  far  as  this  is 
object  of  perception,  an  idea  of  the  first  class^  It  has 
already  been  advanced  in  confirmation^  of  this  that  every 
impression  upon  my  body  also  affects  my  will  at  once 
and  immediately,  and  in  this  respect  is  called  pain  or 
pleasure,  or,  in  its  lower  degrees,  agreeable  or  disagree- 
able sensation ;  and  also,  conversely,  that  every  violent 
movement  of  the  will,  every  emotion  or  passion,  convulses 
the  body  and  disturbs  the  course  of  its  functions^  Indeed 
we  can  also  give  an  etiological  account,  though  a  very 
incomplete  one,  of  the  origin  of  my  body,  and  a  some- 
what better  account  of  its  development  and  conservation, 
and  this  is  the  substance  of  physiology.  But  physiology 
merely  explains  its  theme  in  precisely  the  same  way  as 
motives  explain  action.  Thus  the  physiological  explana- 
tion of  the  functions  of  the  body  detracts  just  as  little 
from  the  philosophical  truth  that  the  whole  existence  of 
%thisJjody^  and ^  the .jumJ^aJ^pjLi^ .  luoiSonillarZImSelJ-.. 
t}ij^  objectificatio^  which  appears~4a  it* 

oju^ward^jictions  in .  jLCCordance  with.  a.mQtive,  as  the 
establishment  of  the  individual  action  through  the  motive 
and  the  necessary  sequence  of  the  action  from  the  motive 
conflicts  with  the  fact  that  action  in  general,  and  accord- 
ing to  its  nature,  is  only  the  manifestation  of  a  will  which 
itself  has  no  ground.  If,  however,  physiology  tries  to 
refer  even  these  outward  actions,  the  immediate  voluntary 
movements,  to  causes  in  the  organism, — for  example,  if  it 


i4o  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  bk.il 

explains  the  movement  of  the  muscles  as  resulting  from 
the  presence  of  fluids  ("  like  the  contraction  of  a  cord 
when  it  is  wet,"  says  Reil  in  his  "  Archiv  fur  Physio- 
logic," vol.  vi.  p.  153),  even  supposing  it  really  could 
give  a  thorough  explanation  of  this  kind,  yet  this  would 
never  invalidate  the  immediately  certain  truth  that;  RYftry 

%  voluntary  motion  (functioncs  nmAfmnh^y  fa  ftlfl  BMP'fejjjgi. 
felon  of  an  act~of  will.  Now,  just  as  little  can  the 
physiological  explanation  of  vegetative  life  (functiones 
naturales   vitales),    however    far    it    may    advance,   ever 

^  invalidate  the  truth  that  the  whole. .animal. .life  which 
tJb.us  develops  itself  is  the  manifestation  of  will.  In 
general,  then,  as  we  have  shown  above,  no  etiological 
explanation  can  ever  give  us  more  than  the  necessarily 
determined  position  in  time  and  space  of  a  particular 
manifestation,  its  necessary  appearance  there,  according  to 
a  fixed  law;  but  the  inner  nature  of  everything  that 
appears  in  this  way  remains  wholly  inexplicable,  and  is 
presupposed  by  every  etiological  explanation,  and  merely 
indicated  by  the  names,  force,  or  law  of  nature,  or,  if  we 
are  speaking  of  action,  character  or  will.  Thus,  although 
every  particular  action,  under  the  presupposition  of  the 
definite  character,  necessarily  follows  from  the  given 
motive,  and  although  growth,  the  process  of  nourish- 
ment, and  all  the  changes  of  the  animal  body  take  place 
according  to  necessarily  acting  causes  (stimuli),  yet  the 

9  whole  series  of  actions,  and  consequently  every  individual 
act,  and  also  its  condition,  the  whole  body  itself  which 
accomplishes  it,  and  therefore  also  the  process  through 
which  and  in  which  it  exists,  are  nothing  but  the  mani- 
festation of  the  will,  the  becoming  visible,  jhj>  nfycr.tifi/w- 
tion  of  the  will  Upon  this  rests  the  perfect  suitableness 
of  the  human  and  animal  body  to  the  human  and  animal 
will  in  general,  resembling,  though  far  surpassing,  the 
correspondence  between  an  instrument  made  for  a  pur- 
pose and  the  will  of  the  maker,  and  on  this  account 
appearing  as  design,  i.e.,  the  teleological  explanation  of 


THE  OBJECTIFICATION  OF  THE  WILL.  141 

the  body.     The  parts  of  the  body  must,  therefore,  com- 
pletely correspond  to  the  principal  desires  through  which 
the  will  manifests  itself ;  they  must  be  the  visible  expres- 
sion of  these  desires.     Teeth,  throat,  and   bowels    are 
objectified  hunger;  the  organs  of  generation  are  objecti- 
fied sexual  desire;  the  grasping  hand,  the  hurrying  feet, 
correspond  to  the  more  indirect  desires  of  the  will  which 
they  express.     As  the  human  form  generally  corresponds 
to  the  human  will  generally,  so  the  individual  bodily 
structure  corresponds  to  the  individually  modified  will, 
the  character  of  the  individual,  and  therefore  it  is  through- 
out and  in  all  its  parts  characteristic  and  full  of  expres- 
sion     It  is  very  remarkable  that   Parmenides   already 
gave  expression  to  this  in  the  following  verses,  quoted  by 
Aristotle  (Metaph.  iii  5)  ' — 

'Hs  yao  sxatrros  tyii  xgaff/v  fisXsuv  iroXwafinrw 
Tug  vooi  uvdzavoifft  tragi sryxev  to  yu%  ccvto 
2<rr/v,  6n-g£  proves/,  (MeXew  pvoig  cuiQpukoigi 
Kou  nam  xa/  *anT  ro  yctg  *Xeov  ion  voqf&a. 

(Ut  enim  cuique  complexio  membrorum  flexibilium  se 
habet,  ita  mens  hominibus  adest :  idem  namque  est,  quod 
sapit/membrorum  natura  hominibus,  et  omnibus  et  omni: 
quod  enim  plus  est,  intelligentia  est.) 1 

S  2 1 .  Whoever  has  now  gained  from  all  these  expositions 
a  knowledge  in  ahtracto,  and  therefore  clear  and  certain, 
of  what  every  one  knows  directly  in  concreto,  i.e.,  as  feeling, 
a  knowledge  that  frfe-will  jg  thfi  ,TPfl,1,  inTier  nature  of  hk. 
phenonae^allieilig,  whichjnanifests  itself  to  him_asjdea, 
bothlnhisTctions  and  in  their  permanent  substratum, 
his  body,  and  that  his  will  is  that  which  is  most  un- . 
mediate  in  his  consciousness,  though  it  has  not  as  such 
completely  passed  into  the  form  of  idea  in  which  object 
and  subject  stand  over  against  each  other,  but  makes 

1  Cf.  Ch.  xx.  <f  the  Supplement,  Physiology  and  Comparative  Ana- 
und  also  in  my  work,  «  Ueler  dm  tomy,  where  the  subject  I  have  only 
WUUnTv  Z  7aturr  the  chapters  on     touched  upon  here  ui  fully  discussed. 


J42  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  bk.  il 

itself  known  to  him  in  a  direct  manner,  in  which  he  does 
not  quite  clearly  distinguish  subject  and  object^  yet  ia 
not  known  as  a  whole  to  the  individual  himself,  but  oidy 
in  its  particular  acts, — whoever,  I  say,  has  with  me 
gained  this  conviction  will  find  that  of  itself  it  affords 
him  the  key  to  the  knowledge  of  the  inmost  being  of  the 
whole  of  nature ;  for  he  now  transfers  it  to  all  those 
phenomena  which  are  not  given  to  him,  like  his  own 
phenomenal  existence,  both  in  direct  and  indirect 
knowledge,  but  only  in  the  latter,  thus  merely  one- 
sidedly  as  idea  alone.     He  will  recognise  this  will  of 

•  which  we  are  speaking  not  only  in  those  phenome- 
nal existences  which  exactly  resemble  his  own,  in  men 
and  animals  as  their  inmost  nature,  but  the  course  of 
reflection   will  lead  him   to   recognise  the   force   which 

+  germinates  and  vegetates  in  the  plant,  and  indeed  the 
force  through  which  the  crystal  is  formed,  that  by  which 
the  magnet  turns  to  the  north  pole,  the  force  whose 
shock  he  experiences  from  the  contact  of  two  different 
kinds  of  metals,  the  force  which  appears  in  the  elective 
affinities  of  matter  as  repulsion  and  attraction,  decom- 
position and  combination,  and,  lastly,  even  gravitation, 
which  acts  so  powerfully  throughout  matter,  draws  the 
stone  to  the  earth  and  the  earth  to  the  sun, — all  these,  I 
say,  he  will  recognise  as  different  only  in  their  pheno- 

•  menal  existence,  but  in  their  inner  nature  as  identical, 
as  that  which  is  directly  known  to  him  so  inti- 
mately and  so  much  better  than  anything  else,  and 
which  in  its  most  distinct  manifestation  is   called  will. 

I  It  is  this  application  of  reflection  alone  that  prevents  us 
from  remaining  any  longer  at  the  phenomenon,  and  leads  us 
to  the  t?Ung  in  itself.  Phenomenal  existence  is  idea  and 
nothing  more.  All  idea,  of  whatever  kind  it  may  be,  all 
object,   is   phenomenal  existence,  but  the  will  alone  is  a. 

•  thdn^LWi^ifi  j  As  such,  it  is  throughout  not  idea,  but 
toto  genere  dirterent  from  it ;  it  is  that  of  which  all  idea, 
all  object,  is  the  phenomenal  appearance,  the   visibility, 


THE  OBJECTlFICATION  OF  THE  WILL.  149 

the  objectification.  It  is  the  inmost  nature,  the  kernel, 
of  every  particular  thing,  and  also  of  the  whole.  It 
appears  in  every  blind  force  of  nature  and  also  in  the  I 
preconsidered  action  of  man ;  and  the  great  difference 
between  these  two  is  merely  in  the  degree  of  the  mani- 
festation, not  in  the  nature  of  what  manifests  itself. 

§  22.  Sow,  if  we  are  to  think  as  an  objectrthis  things 
in-itself  (we  wish  to  retain  the  Kantian  expression  as  a 
standing  formula),  which,  as  such,  isjiever  object,  because 
all  object  is  its  mere  manifestation,  and  therefore  cannot 
be  it  itself,  jwe  must  borrow  for  it  the  name  and  concept 
of  an  object,  of  something  in  some  way  objectively  given, 
consequently  of  one  of  its  own  manifestations.  But  in 
order  to  serve  as  a  clue  for  the  understanding,  this  can  be 
no  other  than  the  most  complete  of  all  its  manifestations, 
i.e.,  the  most  distinct,  the  most  developed,  and  directly 
enlightened  by  knowledge.  Now  this  is  the  human  will. 
It  is,  however,  well  to  observe  that  here,  at  any  rate,  we 
only  make  use  of  a  denominatio  a  potiori,  through  which, 
therefore,  the  concept  of  will  receives  a  greater  exten- 
sion than  it  has  hitherto  had.  Knowledge  of  Jhe.Jdfin-j 
tdgaj  ir»  ^ifflarPTif  pT^nr^^p  and  of  (jiffpTP.nce  in  similai., 
phenomena,  is,  as  Plato  so  often  remarks,  a  sine  qua  non 
of  pMlosojihy.  But  hitherto  it  was  not  recognised  that 
,  every  kind  of  active  and  operating  force  in  nature  is 
essentially  identicaFwith  will,  and  therefore  the  multi- 
farious kinds  of  phenomena  were  not  seen  to  be  merely 
different  species  of  the  same  genus,  but  were  treated  as 
heterogeneous.  Consequently  there  could  be  no  word  to 
denote  the  concept  of  this  genus.  1  therefore  name  the 
genus  after  its  most  important  species,  the  direct  know- 
ledge of  which  lies  nearer  to  us  and  guides  us  to  the  in- 
direct knowledge  of  all  other  species.  But  whoever  is 
incapable  of  carrying  out  the  required  extension  of  the 
concept  will  remain  involved  in  a  permanent  misunder- 
standing. For  by  the  word  will  he  understands  only 
that  species  of  it  which  has  hitherto    been    exclusively 


144  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  BK.  II. 

\  denoted  by  it,  the  will  which  is  guided  by  knowledge, 
and  whose  manifestation  follows  only  upon  motives,  and 
indeed  merely  abstract  motives,  and  thus  takes  place  under 
the  guidance  of  the  reason.     This,  we  have  said,  is  only 

*  the  most  prominent  example  of  the  manifestation  of  wilL 
We  must  now  distinctly  separate  in  thought  the  inmost 

1  essence  of  this  manifestation  which  is  known  to  us 
directly,  and  then  transfer  it  to  all  the  weaker,  less  dis- 
tinct manifestations  of  the  same  nature,  and  thus  we 
o  shall  accomplish  the  desired  extension  of  the  concept  of 
will.  From  another  point  of  view  I  should  be  equally 
misunderstood  by  any  one  who  should  think  that  it  is 
all  the  same  in  the  end  whether  we  denote  this  inner 
nature  of  all  phenomena  by  the  word  will  or  by  any 
other.  This  would  be  the  case  if  the  thing-in-itself  were 
something  whose  existence  we  merely  inferred,  and  thus 
knew  indirectly  and  only  in  the  abstract.  Then,  indeed, 
we  might  call  it  what  we  pleased  ;  the  name  would  stand 
merely  as  the  symbol  of  an  unknown  quantity.  But  the 
word  will,  which,  like  a  magic  spell,  discloses  to  us  the 
inmost  being  of  everything  in  nature,  is  by  no  means  an 
unknown  quantity,  something  arrived  at  only  by  infer- 
ence, but  is  fully  and  immediately  comprehended,  and  is 
so  familiar  to  us  that  we  know  and  understand  what  will 

*  is  far  better  than  anything  else  whatever.  The  concept 
of  will  has  hitherto  commonly  been  subordinated  to  that 
of  force,  but  I  reverse  the  matter  entirely,  and  desire  that 

,  every  force  in  nature  should  be  thought  as  will.  It  must 
not  be  supposed  that  this  is  mere  verbal  quibbling  or  of 
no  consequence ;  rather,  it  is  of  the  greatest  significance 

*  and  importance.     For  at  the  foundation  of  the  concept 
1  of  force,  as  of  all  other  concepts,  there  ultimately  lies 

the  knowledge  in  sense-perception  of  the  objective  world, 
that  is  to  say,  the  phenomenon,  the  idea ;  and  the  con- 
cept is  constructed  out  of  this.  It  is  an  abstraction  from 
the  province  in  which  cause  and  effect  reign,  i.e.}  from 
ideas  of  perception,  and  means  just  the  causal  nature  of 


THE  OBJECTIFICATION  OF  THE  WILL.  i45 

>  causes  ,at  the  point  at  which  this  causal  nature  is  no 
further  etiologically  explicable,  but  is  the  necessary  pre- 
supposition of  all   etiological  explanation.  '/The  concept 
will,  on  the  other  hand,  is  of  all  possible  concepts   the 
only  one  which  has  its  source  not  in  the  phenomenal,  not  in 
the  mere  idea  of  perception,  but  comes  from  within,  and 
proceeds  from  the  most  immediate  consciousness  of  each 
of  us,  in  which"  eaclTbf  us i  knows  his  own  individuality, 
according  to  its  nature,  immediately,  apart  from  all  form] 
SSSL^f!*  of  subJect  and  object,  and  which  at  the  same 
^time  is  tliis  individuality,  for  here  the  subject  and  the 
object   of  knowledge  are   one.     If,  therefore,    we  refer 
the  concept  of  force  to   that  of  will,  we  have  in  fact 
referred    the   less    known  to   what    is    infinitely    better 
known  ;  indeed,  to  the  one  thing  that  is  really  immediately 
and  fully  known  to  us,  and  have  very  greatly  extended 
our  knowledge.     If,   on  the  contrary,   we  subsume  the 
concept  of    will    under  that    of    force,    as  has   hitherto 
always    been    done,    we   renounce   the    only  immediate 
knowledge  which  we  have  of  the  inner  nature  of  the 
world,  for  we  allow  it  to  disappear  in  a  concept  which  is 
abstracted  from  the  phenomenal,  and  with  which  we  can 
therefore  never  go  beyond  the  phenomenal. 

§  23.  The  will  as  a  thing  in  itself  is  quite  different  from 
its  phenomenal  appearance,  and  entirely  free  from  all  the 
forms  of  the  phenomenal,  into  which  it  first  passes  when 
it  manifests  itself,  and  which  therefore  only  concern  its 
objectivity,  and  are  foreign  to  the  will  itself.  Even  the  V 
most  universal  form  of  aU  idea,  that  of  being  object  for  a 
subject,  does  not  concern  it;  still  less  the, forms  which 
are  subordinate  to  this  and  which  collectively  have  their 
common  expression  in  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason, 
to  which  we  know  that  time  and  space  belong,  and  con- 
sequently multiplicity  also,  which  exists  and  is  possible 
only  through  these.  In  this  last  regard  I  shall  caU  time  1 
and  space  the  principium  individuations,  borrowing  an 
expression  from  the  old  schoolmen,  and  I  beg  to  draw 


vol.  1. 


,46  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  bk.  ii. 

attention  to  this,  once  for  all.  For  it  is  only  through 
the  medium  of  time  and  space  that  what  is  one  and  the 
same,  both  according  to  its  nature  and  to  its  concept,  yet 
appears  as  different,  as  a  multiplicity  of  co-existent  and 
successive  phenomena.  Thus  time  and  space  are  the 
principium  individuationis,  the  subject  of  so  many  subtle- 
ties and  disputes  among  the  schoolmen,  which  may  be 

r  found  collected  in  Suarez  (Disp.  5,  Sect.  3).  According 
to  what  has  been  said,  the  will  as  a  thing-in-itself  lies 
outside  the  province  of  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason 
in  all  its  forms,  and  is  consequently  completely  ground- 

r  less,  although  all  its  manifestations  are  entirely  subordi- 
nated to  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason,  JTurther,  it  is 
free  from  all  multiplicity,  although  its  manifestations  in 

;  time  and  space  are  innumerable.  It  is  itself  one,  though 
not  in  the  sense  in  which  an  object  is  one,  for  the  unity 
of  an  object  can  only  be  known  in  opposition  to  a  possible 
multiplicity ;  nor  yet  in  the  sense  in  which  a  concept  is 
one,  for  the  unity  of  a  concept  originates  only  in  abstrac- 
tion from  a  multiplicity ;  but  it  is  one  as  that  which  lies 
outside  time  and  space,  the  principium  individuationis, 
ie.,  the  possibility  of  multiplicity.  Only  when  all  this 
has  became  quite  clear  to  us  through  the  subsequent 
examination  of  the  phenomena  and  different  manifesta- 
tions of  the  will,  shall  we  fully  understand  the  meaning 
of  the  Kantian  doctrine  that  time,  space  and  causality  do 
not  belong  to  the  thing-in-itself,  but  are  only  forms  of 
knowing. 

t  The  uncaused  nature  of  will  has  been  actually  recog- 
nised, where  it  manifests  itself  most  distinctly,  as  the 
will  of  man,  and  this  has  been  called  free,  independent. 
But  on  account  of  the  uncaused  nature  of  the  will  itself, 
the  necessity  to  which  its  manifestation  is  everywhere 
subjected  has  been  overlooked,  and  actions  are  treated  as 
free,  which  they  are  not.  For  every  individual  action 
follows  with  strict  necessity  from  the  effect  of  the  motive 
upon  the  character.     All  necessity  is,  as  we  have  already 


THE  ODJECTIFICATION  OF  THE  WILL.  147 

said,  the  relation  of  the  consequent  to  the  reason,  and 
nothing  more.  The  principle  of  sufficient  reason  is  the^ 
universal  form  of  all  phenomena,  and  man  in  his  action  ( 
must  be  subordinated  to  it  like  every  other  phenomenon.  ] 
But  because  in  self- consciousness  the  will  is  known! 
directly  and  in  itself,  in  this  consciousness  lies  also  the/ 
consciousness  of  freedom.  The  fact  is,  however,  over- 
looked that  the  individual,  the  person,  is  not  will  as  a 
thing-in- itself,  but  is  a  phenomenon  of  will,  is  already 
determined  as  such,  and  has  come  under  the  form  of  the 
phenomenal,  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason.  Hence 
arises  the  strange  fact  that  every  one  believes  himself  a 
priori  to  be  perfectly  free,  even  in  his  individual  actions, 
and  thinks  that  at  every  moment  he  can  commence 
another  manner  of  life,  which  just  means  that  he  can 
become  another  person.  But  a  posteriori,  through  ex- 
perience, he  finds  to  his  astonishment  that  he  is  not  free, 
but  subjected  to  necessity;  that  in  spite  of  all  his 
resolutions  and  reflections  he  does  not  change  his  conduct, 
and  that  from  the  beginning  of  his  life  to  the  end  of  it, 
he  must  carry  out  the  very  character  which  he  himself 
condemns,  and  as  it  were  play  the  part  he  has  under- 
taken to  the  end.  I  cannot  pursue  this  subject  further 
at  present,  for  it  belongs,  as  ethical,  to  another  part  of 
this  work.  In  the  meantime,  I  only  wish  to  point  out 
here  that  the  'phenomenon  of  the  will  which  in  itself  is 
uncaused,  is  yet  as  such  subordinated  to  the  law  of 
necessity,  that  is,  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason,  so 
that  in  the  necessity  with  which  the  phenomena  of 
nature  follow  each  other,  we  may  find  nothing  to  hinder 
us  from  recognising  in  them  the  manifestations  of  will. 

Only  those  changes  which  have  no  other  ground  than 
a  motive,  i.e.}  an  idea,  have  hitherto  been  regarded 
as  manifestations  of  will.  Therefore  in  nature  a  will 
has  cnly  been  attributed  to  man,  or  at  the  most  to 
animals ;  for  knowledge,  the  idea,  is  of  course,  as  I  have 
said  elsewhere,   the  true  and  exclusive  characteristic  of 


,4g  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  BK.  II. 

animal  life.     But  that  the  will  is  also  active  whore  no 
knowledge  guides  it,  we  see  at  once  in  the  instinct  and 
9   the  mechanical  skill  of  animals.1     That  they  have  ideas 
and  knowledge   is   here   not  to  the  point,  for   the  end 
towards  which  they  strive  as  definitely  as  if  it  were  a 
known  motive,  is  yet  entirely  unknown  to  them.     There- 
fore   in    such    cases    their    action   takes   place    without 
motive,  is  not  guided  hy  the  idea,  and  shows  us  first  and 
most   distinctly   how   the   will  may  be   active    entirely 
•  without  knowledge.     The  bird  of  a  year  old  has  no  idea 
of  the  eggs  for  which  it  builds  a  nest ;  the  young  spider 
has  no  idea  of  the  prey  for  which  it  spins  a  web ;  nor 
has  the  ant-lion  any  idea  of  the  ants  for  which  he  digs  a 
trench  for  the  first  time.     The  larva  of  the  stag-beetle 
makes  the  hole  in  the  wood,  in  which  it  is  to  await  its 
metamorphosis,  twice  as  big  if  it  is  going  to  be  a  male 
beetle  as  if  it  is  going  to  be  a  female,  so  that  if  it  is  a 
male  there  may  be  room  for  the  horns,  of  which,  however, 
it  has  no  idea.     In  such  actions  of  these  creatures  the 
will  is  clearly  operative  as  in  their  other  actions,  but  it 
is   in   blind    activity,  which  is  indeed   accompanied  by 
knowledge  but  not  guided  by  it.     If  now  we  have  once 
gained  insight  into  the  fact,  that  idea  as  motive  is  not  a 
necessary  and  essential  condition  of  the  activity  of  the 
will,  we  shall  more  easily  recognise  the  activity  of  will 
where  it  is  less  apparent     For  example,  we  shall  see 
that  the  house  of  the  snail  is  no  more  made  by  a  will 
which  is  foreign  to  the  snail  itself,  than  the  house  which 
we  build  is  produced  through  another  will  than  our  own ; 
but  we  shall  recognise  in  both  houses  the  work  of  a  will 
which  objectifies  itself  in  both  the  phenomena— a  will 
which  works  in  us  according  to  motives,  but  in  the  snail 
still  blindly  as  formative  impulse  directed  outwards^    In 
us   also    the   same   will   is  in  many  ways  only   blindly 
active:  in  all  the  functions  of  our  body  which  are  not 
guided  by  knowledge,  in  all  its  vital  and  vegetative  pro- 

i  This  is  Bpecially  treated  in  the  27th  Ch.  of  the  Supplement. 


THE  OBJECTIFICATION  OF  THE  WILL.  149 

cesses,  digestion,  circulation,  secretion,  growth,  repro- 
duction. Not  only  the  actions  of  the  body,  but  the 
whole  body  itself  is,  as  we  have  shown  above,  phenome- 
non of  the  will,  objectified  will,  concrete  will.  All  that 
goes  on  in  it  must  therefore  proceed  through  will, 
although  here  this  will  is  not  guided  by  knowledge,  but 
acts  blindly  according  to  causes,  which  in  this  case  are 
called  stimuli. 

I  call  a  cause,  in  the  narrowest  sense  of  the  word, 
that  state  of  matter,  which,  while  it  introduces  another 
state  with  necessity,  yet  suffers  just  as  great  a  change 
itself  as  that  which  it  causes ;  which  is  expressed  in  the 
rule,  "  action  and  reaction  are  equal."  Further,  in  the 
case  of  what  is  properly  speaking  a  cause,  the  effect 
increases  directly  in  proportion  to  the  cause,  and  there- 
fore also  the  reaction.  So  that,  if  once  the  mode  of 
operation  be  known,  the  degree  of  the  effect  may  be 
measured  and  calculated  from  the  degree  of  the  intensity 
of  the  cause ;  and  conversely  the  degree  of  the  intensity 
of  the  cause  may  be  calculated  from  the  degree  of  the 
effect.  Such  causes,  properly  so  called,  operate  in  all 
the  phenomena  of  mechanics,  chemistry,  and  so  forth ; 
in  short,  in  all  the  changes  of  unorganised  bodies.  On 
the  other  hand,  I  call  a  stimulus,  such  a  cause  as  sustains 
no  reaction  proportional  to  its  effect,  and  the  intensity 
of  which  does  not  vary  directly  in  proportion  to  the 
intensity  of  its  effect,  so  that  the  effect  cannot  be 
measured  by  it.  On  the  contrary,  a  small  increase  of 
the  stimulus  may  cause  a  very  great  increase  of  the 
effect,  or  conversely,  it  may  eliminate  the  previous  effect 
altogether,  and  so  forth.  All  effects  upon  organised 
bodies  as  such  are  of  this  kind.  All  properly  organic 
and  vegetative  changes  of  the  animal  body  must  there- 
fore be  referred  to  stimuli,  not  to  mere  causes.  But  the 
stimulus,  like  every  cause  and  motive  generally,  never 
determines  more  than  the  point   of  time  and  space  at 


,5o  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  BK.  IL 

which  the  manifestation  of  every  force  is  to  take  place, 
and  does  not  determine  the  inner  nature  of  the  force 
itself  which  is  manifested.  This  inner  nature  we  know, 
from  our  previous  investigation,  is  will,  to  which  there- 
lore  we  ascribe  both  the  unconscious  and  the  conscious 
changes  of  the  body.  The  stimulus  holds  the  mean, 
forms  the  transition  between  the  motive,  which  is 
causality  accompanied  throughout  by  knowledge,  and  the 
cause  in  the  narrowest  sense.  In  particular  cases  it  is 
sometimes  nearer  a  motive,  sometimes  nearer  a  cause,  but 
yet  it  can  always  be  distinguished  from  both.  Thus,  for 
example,  the  rising  of  the  sap  in  a  plant  follows  upon 
stimuli,  and  cannot  be  explained  from  mere  causes, 
according  to  the  laws  of  hydraulics  or  capillary  attrac- 
tion ;  yet  it  is  certainly  assisted  by  these,  and  altogether 
approaches  very  near  to  a  purely  causal  change.  On  the 
other  hand,  the  movements  of  the  JTedysarum  gyrans  and 
the  Mimosa  pudica,  although  still  following  upon  mere 
stimuli,  are  yet  very  like  movements  which  follow  upon 
motives,  and  seem  almost  to  wish  to  make  the  transition. 
The  contraction  of  the  pupils  of  the  eyes  as  the  light  is 
increased  is  due  to  stimuli,  but  it  passes  into  movement 
which  is  due  to  motive ;  for  it  takes  place,  because  too 
strong  lights  would  affect  the  retina  painfully,  and  to 
avoid  this  we  contract  the  pupils.  The  occasion  of  an 
erection  is  a  motive,  because  it  is  an  idea,  yet  it  operates 
with  the  necessity  of  a  stimulus,  i.e.,  it  cannot  be  re- 
sisted, but  we  must  put  the  idea  away  in  order  to  make 
it  cease  to  affect  us.  This  is  also  the  case  with  disgust- 
ing things,  which  excite  the  desire  to  vomit.  Thus 
we  have  treated  the  instinct  of  animals  as  an  actual 
link,  of  quite  a  distinct  kind,  between  movement  follow- 
ing upon  stimuli,  and  action  following  upon  a  known 
motive.  Now  we  might  be  asked  to  regard  breathing  as 
another  link  of  this  kind.  It  has  been  disputed  whether 
it  belongs  to  the  voluntary  or  the  involuntary  movements, 
9  that  is  to  say,  whether  it  follows  upon  motive  or  stimu' 


THE  OBJECTIFICATION  OF  THE  WILL.  151 

lus,  and  perhaps  it  may  be  explained  as  something  which 
is  between  the  two.  Marshall  Hall  ("  On  the  Diseases 
of  the  Nervous  System,"  §  293  sq.)  explains  it  as  a  mixed 
function,  for  it  is  partly  under  the  influence  of  the  cerebral 
(voluntary),  and  partly  under  that  of  the  spinal  (non-vol- 
untary) nerves.  However,  we  are  finally  obliged  to  number 
it  with  the  expressions  of  will  which  result  from  motives. 
For  other  motives,  i.e.,  mere  ideas,  can  determine  the  will 
to  check  it  or  accelerate  it,  and,  as  is  the  case  with  every 
other  voluntary  action,  it  seems  to  us  that  we  could  give 
up  breathing  altogether  and  voluntarily  suffocate.  And 
in  fact  we  could  do  so  if  any  other  motive  influenced  the 
will  sufficiently  strongly  to  overcome  the  pressing  desire 
for  air.  According  to  some  accounts  Diogenes  actually 
put  an  end  to  his  life  in  this  way  (Diog.  Laert.  VI.  76). 
Certain  negroes  also  are  said  to  have  done  this  (F.  B. 
Osiander  "  On  Suicide  "  [18 13]  pp.  170-180).  If  this 
be  true,  it  affords  us  a  good  example  of  the  influence 
of  abstract  motives,  i.e.,  of  the  victory  of  distinctively 
.  rational  over  merely  animal  will.  For,  that  breath- 
ing is  at  least  partially  conditioned  by  cerebral  activity 
is  shown  by  the  fact  that  the  primary  cause  of  death 
from  prussic  acid  is  that  it  paralyses  the  brain,  and  so, 
indirectly,  restricts  the  breathing;  but  if  the  breathing 
be  artificially  maintained  till  the  stupefaction  of  the 
brain  has  passed  away,  death  will  not  ensue.  We  may 
/  affco  observe  in  passing  that  breathing  affords  us  the  most 
j  obvious  example  of  the  fact  that  motives  act  with  just  as 
\  much  necessity  as  stimuli,  or  as  causes  in  the  narrowest 
sense  of  the  word,  and  their  operation  can  only  be 
neutralised  by  antagonistic  motives,  as  action  is  neutralised 
by  re-action.  For,  in  the  case  of  breathing,  the  illusion 
that  we  can  stop  when  we  like  is  much  weaker  than 
in  the  case  of  other  movements  which  follow  upon 
motives ;  because  in  breathing  the  motive  is  very  power- 
ful, very  near  to  us,  and  its  satisfaction  is  very  easy,  for 
the  muscles  which  accomplish  it  are  never  tired,  nothing, 


152  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  bk.  ii. 

as  a  rule,  obstructs  it,  and  the  whole  process  is  supported 
by  the  most  inveterate  habit  of  the  individual.  And  yet 
all  motives  act  with  the  same  necessity.  The  knowledge 
that  necessity  is  common  to  movements  following  upon 
motives,  and  those  following  upon  stimuli,  makes  it  easier 
for  us  to  understand  that  that  also  which  takes  place  in 
our  bodily  organism  in  accordance  with  stimuli  and  in 
obedience  to  law,  is  yet,  according  to  its  inner  nature — 
will,  which  in  all  its  manifestations,  though  never  in 
itself,  is  subordinated  to  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason, 
that  is,  to  necessity.1  Accordingly,  we  shall  not  rest 
contented  with  recognising  "that  animals,  both  in  their 
actions  and  also  in  their  whole  existence,  bodily  struc- 
ture and  organisation,  are  manifestations  of  will ;  but  we 

•  shall  extend  to  plants  also  this  immediate  knowledge 
of  the  essential  nature  of  things  which  is  given  to  us 
alone.     Now  all  the  movements  of  plants  follow  upon 

%  stimuli;  for  the  absence  of  knowledge,  and  the  move- 
ment following  upon  motives  which  is  conditioned  by 
knowledge,  constitutes  the  only  essential  difference  be- 
tween animals  and  plants.  Therefore,  what  appears  for 
the  idea  as  plant  life,  as  mere  vegetation,  as  blindly  im- 
pelling force,  we  shall  claim,  according  to  its  inner  nature, 
for  will,  and  recognise  it  as  just  that  which  constitutes 
the  basis  of  our  own  phenomenal  being,  as  it  expresses 
itself  in  our  actions,  and  also  in  the  whole  existence 
of  our  body  itself. 

It  only  remains  for  us  to  take  the  final  step,  the  ex- 
tension of  our  way  of  looking  at  things  to  all  those  forces 
which  act  in  nature  in  accordance  with  universal,  un- 
changeable laws,  in  conformity  with  which  the  movements 
of  all  those  bodies  take  place,  which  are  wholly  without 
organs,  and  have  therefore  no  susceptibility  for  stimuli, 
and  have  no  knowledge,  which  is  the  necessary  condition 


1  This  subject  is  fully  worked  out  in  the  "Grundprobleme  der  Ethik")  th« 
my  prize  essay  on  the  freedom  of  the  relation  of  cause,  stimulus,  and  mo* 
will,  in  which  therefore  (pp.  29-44  °f     '"*  has  also  been  fully  explained. 


THE  OBJECTIFICATION  OF  THE  WILL.  153 

of  motives.  Thus  we  must  also  apply  the  key  to  the 
understanding  of  the  inner  nature  of  things,  which  the 
immediate  knowledge  of  our  own  existence  alone  can 
give  us,  to  those  phenomena  of  the  unorganised  world 
which  are  most  remote  from^m  And  if  we  consider 
them  attentively,  if  we  observe  the  strong  and  unceasing 
impulse  with  which  the  waters  hurry  to  the  ocean,  the 
persistency  with  which  the  magnet  turns  ever  to  the 
north  pole,  the  readiness  with  which  iron  flies  to  the 
magnet,  the  eagerness  with  which  the  electric  poles  seek 
to  be  re-united,  and  which,  just  like  human  desire,  is 
increased  by  obstacles  ;  if  we  see  the  crystal  quickly  and 
suddenly  take  form  with  such  wonderful  regularity  of 
construction,  which  is  clearly  only  a  perfectly  definite 
and  accurately  determined  impulse  in  different  directions, 
seized  and  retained  by  crystallisation ;  if  we  observe  the 
choice  with  which  bodies  repel  and  attract  each  other, 
combine  and  separate,  when  they  are  set  free  in  a  fluid 
state,  and  emancipated  from  the  bonds  of  rigidness; 
lastly,  if  we  feel  directly  how  a  burden  which  hampers 
our  body  by  its  gravitation  towards  the  earth,  unceas- 
ingly presses  and  strains  upon  it  in  pursuit  of  its  one 
tendency ;  if  we  observe  all  this,  I  say,  it  will  require  no 
great  effort  of  the  imagination  to  recognise,  even  at  so 
great  a  distance,  our  own  nature.  That  which  in  us  pur- 
sues its  ends  by  the  light  of  knowledge ;  but  here,  in 
the  weakest  of  its  manifestations,  only  strives  blindly 
and  dumbly  in  a  one-sided  and  unchangeable  manner, 
must  yet  in  both  cases  come  under  the  name  of  will,  as 
it  is  everywhere  one  and  the  same — just  as  the  first  dim 
light  of  dawn  must  share  the  name  of  sunlight  with  the 
rays  of  the  full  mid- day.  JJor_the  name  will  denotes 
that  which  is  the  inner  nature  of  everything  in  the  world, 
and  the  one  kernel  of  every  phenomenon. 

Yet  the  remoteness,  and  indeed   the   appearance   of] 
absolute  difference    between    the    phenomena    of    unor- 
ganised  nature   and    the  will   which  we  know   as   the     \ 


154  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  bk.  a 

inner  reality  of  our  own  being,  arises  chiefly  from  the 
contrast  between  the  completely  determined  conformity 
to  law  of  the  one  species  of  phenomena,  and  the  ap- 
parently unfettered  freedom  of  the  other.  For  in  man, 
individuality  makes  itself  powerfully  felt.  Every  one 
has  a  character  of  his  own;  and  therefore  the  same 
motive  has  not  the  same  influence  over  all,  and  a 
thousand  circumstances  which  exist  in  the  wide  sphere 
of  the  knowledge  of  the  individual,  but  are  unknown  to 
others,  modify  its  effect.  Therefore  action  cannot  be  pre- 
determined from  the  motive  alone,  for  the  other  factor  is 
wanting,  the  accurate  acquaintance  with  the  individual 
character,  and  with  the  knowledge  which  accompanies  it 
On  the  other  hand,  the  phenomena  of  the  forces  of 
nature  illustrate  the  opposite  extreme.  They  act  accord- 
ing to  universal  laws,  without  variation,  without  indivi- 
duality in  accordance  with  openly  manifest  circumstances, 
subject  to  the  most  exact  predetermination  ;  and  the  same 
force  of  nature  appears  in  its  million  phenomena  in 
precisely  the  same  way.  In  order  to  explain  this  point 
and  prove  the  identity  of  the  one  indivisible  will  in 
all  its  different  phenomena,  in  the  weakest  as  in  the 
strongest,  we  must  first  of  all  consider  the  relation  of 
*  the  will  as  thing-in-itself  to  its  phenomena,  that  is,  the 
relation  of  the  world  as  will  to  the  world  as  idea;  for 
this  will  open  to  us  the  best  way  to  a  more  thorough 
investigation  of  the  whole  subject  we  are  considering  in 
this  second  book.1 

§  24.  We  have  learnt  from  the  great  Kant  that  time, 
space,  and  causality,  with  their  entire  constitution,  and 
the  possibility  of  all  their  forms,  are  present  in  our 
consciousness  quite  independently  of  the  objects  which 
appear  in  them,  and  which  constitute  their  content ;  or, 
in  other  words,  they  can  be  arrived  at  just  as  well  if  we 

J  Cf.  Ch.  xxiii.  of  the  Supplement,  on  physical  astronomy,  which  is  of 

and  ako  the  Ch.  on  the  physiology  great  importance  with  regard  to  the 

of  plants  in  my  work  "Ueber  den  kernel  of  my  metaphysic. 
Willen  in  der  Natur,"  and  the  Ch. 


THE  OBJECTIFICATION  OF  THE   WILL.  155 

start  from  the  subject  as  if  we  start  from  the  object.    There- 
fore, with  equal  accuracy,  we  may  call  them  either  forms  of 

1  intuition  or  perception  of  the  subject,  or  qualities  of  the 
object  as  object  (with  Kant,  phenomenon),  ie.,  idea.  We 
may  also  regard  these  forms  as  the  irreducible  boundary 
between  object  and  subject.  All  objects  must  therefore 
exist  in  them,  yet  the  subject,  independently  of  the 
phenomenal  object,  possesses  and  surveys  them  com- 
pletely. But  if  the  objects  appearing  in  these  forms 
are  not  to  be  empty  phantoms,  but  are  to  have  a  mean- 
ing, they  must  refer  to  something,  must  be  the  expression 
of  something  which  is  not,  like  themselves,  object,  idea,  a 
merely  relative  existence  for  a  subject,  but  which  exists 
without  such  dependence  upon  something  which  stands 
over  against  it  as  a  condition  of  its  being,  and  inde- 
pendent of  the  forms  of  such  a  thing,  i.e.,  is  not  idea,  but 
a  thing-in-itself.  Consequently  it  may  at  least  be  asked  : 
Are  these  ideas,  these  objects,  something  more  than  or 
apart  from  the  fact  that  they  are  ideas,  objects  of  the 
subject  ?  And  what  would  they  be  in  this  sense  ?  What 
is  that  other  side  of  them  which  is  toto  genere  different 
from  idea?  What  is  the  thing-in-itself?  The  will,  we 
have  answered,  but  for  the  present  I  set  that  answer 
aside. 

Whatever  the  thing-in-itself  may  be,  Kant  is  right  in 
his  conclusion  that  time,  space,  and  causality  (which  we 
afterwards  found  to  be  forms  of  the  principle  of  sufficient 

I  reason,  the  general  expression  of  the  forms  of  the  pheno- 
menon) are  not  its  properties,  but  come  to  it  only  after, 
and  so  far  as,  it  has  become  idea.     That  is,  they  belong 

t  only  to  its  phenomenal  existence,  not  to  itself.  For  since 
the  subject  fully  understands  and  constructs  them  out  of 
itself,  independently  of  all  object,  they  must  be  dependent 
upon  existence  as  idea  as  such,  not  upon  that  which  becomes 
idea.  They  must  be  the  form  of  the  idea  as  such ;  but 
*not  qualities  of  that  which  has  assumed  this  form.  They 
must  be  already  given  with  the  mere  antithesis  of  subject 


1 56  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  uk.  a 

and  object  (not  as  concepts  but  as  facts),  and  consequently 
they  must  be  only  the  more  exact  determination  of  the 
form  of  knowledge  in  general,  whose  most  universal  de- 
termination is  that  antithesis  itself.  Now,  that  in  the 
phenomenon,  in  the  object,  which  is  in  its  turn  con- 
ditioned by  time,  space  and  causality,  inasmuch  as  it 
can  only  become  idea  by  means  of  them,  namely  multi- 
plicity, through  co-existence  and  succession,  cliange  and 
permanence  through  the  law  of  causality,  matter  which 
can  only  become  idea  under  the  presupposition  of  caus- 
ality, and  lastly,  all  that  becomes  idea  only  by  means 
of  these, — all  this,  I  say,  as  a  whole,  does  not  in  reality  be- 
long to  that  which  appears,  to  that  which  has  passed  into 
the  form  of  idea,  but  belongs  merely  to  this  form  itself. 
And  conversely,  that  in  the  phenomenon  which  is  not 
conditioned  through  time,  space  and  causality,  and  which 
cannot  be  referred  to  them,  nor  explained  in  accordance 
with  them,  is  precisely  that  in  which  the  thing  mani- 
fested, the  thing-in-itself,  directly  reveals  itself.  It  follows 
from  this  that  the  most  complete  capacity  for  being  known, 
that  is  to  say,  the  greatest  clearness,  distinctness,  and  sus- 
ceptibility of  exhaustive  explanation,  will  necessarily  belong 
to  that  which  pertains  to  knowledge  as  such,  and  thus  to 
the  form  of  knowledge;  but  not  to  that  which  in  itself  is 
not  idea,  not  object,  but  which  has  become  knowledge 
only  through  entering  these  forms ;  in  other  words,  has 
become  idea,  object.  Thus  only  that  which  depends  en- 
tirely upon  being  an  object  of  knowledge,  upon  existing 
as  idea  in  general  and  as  such  (not  upon  that  which 
becomes  known,  and  has  only  become  idea),  which 
therefore  belongs  without  distinction  to  everything  that 
is  known,  and  which,  on  that  account,  is  found  just  as 
well  if  we  start  from  the  subject  as  if  we  start  from  the 
object, — this  alone  can  afford  us  without  reserve  a  suffi- 
cient, exhaustive  knowledge,  a  knowledge  which  is  clear 
to  the  very  foundation.  But  this  consists  of  nothing  but 
those  forms  of  all  phenomena  of  which  we  are  conscious 


THE  OBJECTIFICATION  OF  THE  WILL.  157 

a  priori,  and  which  may  he  generally  expressed  as  the 
principle  of  sufficient  reason.     Now,  the  forms  of  this  prin- 
ciple which  occur  in  knowledge  of  perception  (with  which 
alone  we  are  here  concerned)  are  time,  space,  and  casuality. 
The  whole  of  pure  mathematics  and  pure  natural  science 
a  priori  is  based  entirely  upon  these.      Therefore  it  is 
only  in  these  sciences  that  knowledge  finds  no  obscurity, 
^loes  not  rest  upon  what  is  incomprehensible  (groundless, 
i.e.,  will),  upon  what  cannot  be  further  deduced.     It  is  on 
this  account  that  Kant  wanted,  as  we  have  said,  to  apply 
the  name  science  specially  and  even  exclusively  to  these 
branches  of  knowledge  together  with  logic.      But,   on 
the  other  hand,  these  branches  of  knowledge   show  us 
nothing  more  than   mere  connections,  relations   of  one 
idea  to  another,  form  devoid  of  all  content.     All  content 
which  they  receive,  every  phenomenon  which  fills  these 
forms,  contains  something  which  is  no  longer  completely 
knowable  in  its  whole  nature,  something  which  can  no 
longer    be    entirely   explained    through    something  else, 
something    then    which    is    groundless,    through    which 
consequently    the    knowledge    loses    its    evidence    and 
ceases    to    be    completely   lucid.     This    that    withholds  j/ 
itself  from  investigation,  however,  is  the  thing-in-itself, 
is  that  which  is  essentially  not  idea,  not  object  of  know- 
ledge, but  has  only  become  knowable  by  entering  that  ^  v 
form.     The  form  is  originally  foreign  to  it,  and  the  thing- 
in-itself  can  never  become  entirely  one  with  it,  can  never 
be  referred   to  mere  form,  and,  since  this  form  is  the 
principle  of  sufficient  reason,  can   never  be  completely 
explained.     If  therefore  all  mathematics  affords  us  an 
exhaustive  knowledge  of  that  which  in  the  phenomena 
is   quantity,  position,    number,  in   a   word,  spatial   and 
temporal   relations;   if  all  etiology  gives  us  a  complete 
account  of  the  regular  conditions  under  which  pheno- 
mena, with  all  their  determinations,  appear  in  time  and 
space,  but,  with  it  all,  teaches  us  nothing  more  than  why 
in  each  case  this  particular  phenomenon  must   appear 


158  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  bk.  ii. 

just  at  this  time  here,  and  at  this  place  now ;  it  is  clear 
that  with  their  assistance  we  can  never  penetrate  to  the 
inner  nature  of  things.  There  always  remains  something 
which  no  explanation  can  venture  to  attack,  but  which 
it  always  presupposes ;  the  forces  of  nature,  the  definite 
mode  of  operation  of  things,  the  quality  and  character  of 
every  phenomenon,  that  which  is  without  ground,  that 
which  does  not  depend  upon  the  form  of  the  phenomenal, 
the  principle  of  sufficient  reason,  but  is  something  to  which 
this  form  in  itself  is  foreign,  something  which  has  yet 

/entered  this  form,  and  now  appears  according  to  its  law, 
a  law,  however,  which  only  determines  the  appearance, 
not  that   which   appears,  only  the   how,  not  the  what, 
only  the  form,  not  the  content.     Mechanics,  physics,  and 
chemistry  teach  the  rules  and  laws  according  to  which 
the  forces  of  impenetrability,  gravitation,  rigidity,  fluidity, 
cohesion,  elasticity,  heat,  light,  affinity,  magnetism,  elec- 
tricity, &c,  operate ;  that  is  to  say,  the   law,  the    rule 
which  these  forces  observe  whenever  they  enter  time  and 
space.     But    do   what   we  will,  the   forces    themselves 
remain  qualitates  occulta.     For  it  is  just  the  thin^-in- 
itself,  which,  because  it    is    manifested,    exhibits    these 
phenomena,  which  are  entirely  different  from  itself.     In 
its  manifestation,  indeed,  it  is  completely  subordinated 
to  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason  as  the  form  of  the 
idea,  but  it  can  never  itself  be  referred  to  this  form,  and 
therefore    cannot    be    fully    explained  etiolbgically,  can 
never  be  completely  fathomed.     It  is  certainly  perfectly 
comprehensible  so  far  as  it  has  assumed  that  form,  that 
is,  so  far  as  it  is  phenomenon,  but  its  inner  nature  is  not 
in  the  least  explained  by  the  fact  that  it  can  thus  be 
comprehended.       Therefore    the    more    necessity     any 
knowledge  carries  with  it,  the  more  there  is  in  it  of  that    a 
which  cannot  be  otherwise  thought  or  presented  in  per-   \) 
ception — as,    for    example,    space-relations — the    clearer  \J 
and  more  sufficing  then  it  is,    the    less   pure    objective 
content  it  has,  or  the  less  reality,  properly  so  called,  is 


THE  OBJECTIFICATION  OF  THE  WILL,  159 

given  in  it.  And  conversely,  the  more  there  is  in  it 
which  must  be  conceived  as  mere  chance,  and  the  more 
it  impresses  us  as  given  merely  empirically,  the  more 
proper  objectivity  and  true  reality  is  there  in  such 
knowledge,  and  at  the  same  time,  the  more  that  is  inex- 
plicable, that  is,  that  cannot  be  deduced  from  anything 
else. 

It  is  true  that  at  all  times  an  etiology,  unmindful  of 
its  real  aim,  has  striven  to  reduce  all  organised  life  to 
chemism  or  electricity;  all  chemism,  that  is  to  say 
quality,  again  to  mechanism  (action  determined  by  the 
shape  of  the  atom),  this  again  sometimes  to  the  object 
of  phoronomy,  i.e.,  the  combination  of  time  and  space, 
which  makes  motion  possible,  sometimes  to  the  object  of 
mere  geometry,  i.e.,  position  in  space  (much  in  the  same 
way  as  we  rightly  deduce  the  diminution  of  an  effect 
from  the  square  of  the  distance,  and  the  theory  of  the  lever 
in  a  purely  geometrical  manner) :  geometry  may  finally 
be  reduced  to  arithmetic,  which,  on  account  of  its  one 
dimension,  is  of  all  the  forms  of  the  principle  of  sufficient 
reason,  the  most  intelligible,  comprehensible,  and  com- 
pletely susceptible  of  investigation.  As  instances  of  the 
method  generally  indicated  here,  we  may  refer  to  the 
atoms  of  Democritus,  the  vortex  of  Descartes,  the 
mechanical  physics  of  Lesage,  which  towards  the  end  of 
last  century  tried  to  explain  both  chemical  affinities  and 
gravitation  mechanically  by  impact  and  pressure,  as  may 
be  seen  in  detail  in  "  Lucrece  Neutonien ;"  Eeil's  form 
and  combination  as  the  cause  of  animal  life,  also  tends 
in  this  direction.  Finally,  the  crude  materialism  which 
even  now  in  the  middle  of  the  nineteenth  century  has 
been  served  up  again  under  the  ignorant  delusion  that  it 
is  original,  belongs  distinctly  to  this  class.  It  stupidly 
denies  vital  force,  and  first  of  all  tries  to  explain  the 
phenomena  of  life  from  physical  and  chemical  forces,  and 
those  again  from  the  mechanical  effects  of  the  matter, 
position,  form,  aDd  motion  of  imagined  atoms,  and  thus 


i&>  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  bk  ii. 

seeks  to  reduce  all  the  forces  of  nature  to  action  and  re- 
action as  its  thing-in-itself.     According  to  this  teaching, 
light  is  the  mechanical  vibration  or  undulation  of  an  imagi- 
nary ether,  postulated  for  this  end.    This  ether,  if  it  reaches 
the  eye,  beats  rapidly  upon  the  retina,  and  gives  us  the 
knowledge  of  colour.     Thus,  for  example,  four  hundred 
and  eighty-three  billion  beats  in  a  second  give  red,  and 
seven  hundred  and  twenty-seven  billion  beats  in  a  second 
give  violet.      Upon  this  theory,  persons  who  are  colour- 
blind must  be  those  who  are  unable  to  count  the  beats, 
must  they  not?     Such  crass,  mechanical,  clumsy,  and 
certainly  knotty  theories,  which  remind  one  of  Deraocritus, 
are  quite  worthy  of  those  who,  fifty  years  after  the  appear- 
ance of  Goethe's  doctrine  of  colour,  still  believe  in  New- 
ton's homogeneous  light,  and  are  not  ashamed  to  say  so. 
They  will   find   that   what   is   overlooked   in   the  child 
(Democritus)  will  not  be  forgiven  to  the  man.     They 
might  indeed,  some  day,  come  to  an  ignominious  end ; 
but  then  every  one  would  slink  away  and  pretend  that 
he  never  had  anything  to  do  with  them.     We  shall  soon 
have  to  speak  again  of  this  false  reduction  of  the  forces 
of  nature  to  each  other ;  so  much  for  the  present.     Sup- 
posing  this   theory   were   possible,   all   would   certainly 
be  explained  and  established  and  finally  reduced  to  an 
arithmetical  problem,  which  would  then  be  the  holiest 
thing  in  the  temple  of  wisdom,  to  which  the  principle  of 
sufficient  reason  would  at  last  have  happily  conducted 
us.     But  all  content  of  the  phenomenon  would  have  dis- 
appeared, and  the  mere  form  would  remain.     The  "what 
appears  "  would  be  referred  to  the  "  how  it  appears,"  and 
this  "  how  "  would  be  what  is  a  prim  knowable,  there- 
fore entirely  dependent  on  the  subject,  therefore  only  for 
the  subject,   therefore,  lastly,   mere  phantom,   idea  and 
form  of  idea,   through   and   through:  no   thing-in-itself 
could   be   demanded.     Supposing,   then,   that  this   were 
possible,  the  whole   world  would  be   derived  from   the 
subject,  and.  in  fact,  that  would  be  accomplished  which 


THE  OBJECTIFICATION  OF  THE  WILL.  161 

Fiehte  wanted  to  seem  to  accomplish  by  his  empty 
bombast.  But  it  is  not  possible :  phantasies,  sophisms, 
castles  in  the  air,  have  been  constructed  in  this  way,  but 
science  never.  The  many  and  multifarious  phenomena 
in  nature  have  been  successfully  referred  to  particular 
original  forces,  and  as  often  as  this  has  been  done,  a  real 
advance  has  been  made.  Several  forces  and  qualities, 
which  were  at  first  regarded  as  different,  have  been 
derived  from  each  other,  and  thus  their  number  has  been 
curtailed.  (For  example,  magnetism  from  electricity.) 
Etiology  will  have  reached  its  goal  when  it  has  recog- 
nised and  exhibited  as  such  all  the  original  forces  of 
nature,  and  established  their  mode  of  operation,  i.e.,  the 
law  according  to  which,  under  the  guidance  of  causality, 
their  phenomena  appear  in  time  and  space,  and  determine 
their  position  with  regard  to  each  other.  But  certain  origi- 
nal forces  will  always  remain  over;  there  will  always  remain 
as  an  insoluble  residuum  a  content  of  phenomena  which 
cannot  be  referred  to  their  form,  and  thus  cannot  be  ex- 
plained from  something  else  in  accordance  with  the  principle 
of  sufficient  reason.  For  in  everything  in  nature  there  is 
something  of  which  no  ground  can  ever  be  assigned,  of 
which  no  explanation  is  possible,  and  no  ulterior  cause 
is  to  be  sought.  This  is  the  specific  nature  of  its  action, 
i.e.,  the  nature  of  its  existence,  its  being.  Of  each  par- 
ticular effect  of  the  thing  a  cause  may  be  certainly 
indicated,  from  which  it  follows  that  it  must  act  just 
at  this  time  and  in  this  place;  but  no  cause  can 
ever  be  found  from  which  it  follows  that  a  thing  acts  in 
general,  and  precisely  in  the  way  it  does.  If  it  has  no 
other  qualities,  if  it  is  merely  a  mote  in  a  sunbeam,  it  yet 
exhibits  this  unfathomable  something,  at  least  as  weight 
and  impenetrability.  But  this,  I  say,  is  to  the  mote  what 
his  will  is  to  a  man ;  and,  like  the  human  will,  it  is,  ac- 
cording to  its  inner  nature,  not  subject  to  explanation; 
nay,  more — it  is  in  itself  identical  with  this  will.  It  is 
true  that  a  motive  may  be  given  for  every  manifestation 
vol.  I.  L 


162  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  BK.  II. 

of  will,  for  every  act  of  will  at  a  particular  time  and  in 
a  particular  place,  upon  which  it  must  necessarily  follow, 
under  the  presupposition  of  the  character  of  the  man. 
But  no  reason  can  ever  he  given  that  the  man  has  this 
character ;  that  he  wills  at  all ;  that,  of  several  motives, 
just  this  one  and  no  other,  or  indeed  that  any  motive  at 
all,  moves  his  will.  That  which  in  the  case  of  man  is 
the  unfathomable  character  which  is  presupposed  in  every 
explanation  of  his  actions  from  motives  is,  in  the  case  of 
every  unorganised  body,  its  definitive  quality — the  mode  of 
its  action,  the  manifestations  of  which  are  occasioned  by 
impressions  from  without,  while  it  itself,  on  the  contrary, 
is  determined  by  nothing  outside  itself,  and  thus  is  also 
inexplicable.  Its  particular  manifestations,  through  which 
alone  it  becomes  visible,  are  subordinated  to  the  principle 
of  sufficient  reason ;  it  itself  is  groundless.  This  was  in 
substance  rightly  understood  by  the  schoolmen,  who  called 
it  forma  substantialis.  (Cf.  Suarez,  Disput  Metaph.,  disp. 
xv.  sect.  I.) 

It  is  a  greater  and  a  commoner  error  that  the  pheno- 
mena which  we  best  understand  are  those  which  are  of 
most  frequent  occurrence,  and  which  are  most  universal 
and  simple ;  for,  on  the  contrary,  these  are  just  the  phe- 
nomena that  we  are  most  accustomed  to  see  about  us, 
and  to  be  ignorant  of.  It  is  just  as  inexplicable  to  us 
that  a  stone  should  fall  to  the  earth  as  that  an  animal 
should  move  itself.  It  has  been  supposed,  as  we  have 
remarked  above,  that,  starting  from  the  most  universal 

\  forces  of  nature  (gravitation,  cohesion,  impenetrability),  it 
j  was  possible  to  explain  from  them  the  rarer  forces,  which 

/  only  operate  under  a  combination  of  circumstances  (for 
example,  chemical  quality,  electricity,  magnetism),  and, 
lastly,  from  these  to  understand  the  organism  and  the  life 
of  animals,  and  even  the  nature  of  human  knowing  and 
willing.  Men  resigned  themselves  without  a  word  to 
starting  from  mere  qvalitates  occulta,  the  elucidation  of 
which  was  entirely  given  up,  for  they  intended  to  build 


THE  OBJECTIFICATION  OF  THE  WILL.         163 

upon  them,  not  to  investigate  them.     Such  an  intention 
cannot,  as  we  have  already  said,  be  carried  out.     But 
apart  from  this,  such  structures  would  always  stand  in 
the  air.    What  is  the  use  of  explanations  which  ultimately 
refer  us  to  something  which  is  quite  as  unknown  as  the 
problem  with  which  we  started?     Do   we  in  the   end 
understand  more  of  the  inner  nature  of  these  universal 
natural  forces  than  of  the  inner  nature  of  an  animal? 
Is  not  the  one  as  much  a  sealed  book  to  us  as  the  other  ? 
Unfathomable  because  it  is  without  ground,  because  it  is 
the  content,  that  which  the  phenomenon  is,  and  which 
can  never  be  referred  to  the  form,  to  the  how,  to  the 
principle  of  sufficient  reason.     Bat  we,  who  have  in  view 
not  etiology  but  philosophy,  that  is,  not  relative  but  un- 
conditioned knowledge  of  the  real  nature  of  the  world, 
take  the  opposite  course,  and  start  from  that  which  is 
immediately  and  most  completely  known  to  us,  and  fully 
and  entirely  trusted  by  us — that  which  lies  nearest  to  us, 
in  order  to  understand  that  which  is  known  to  us  only 
at  a  distance,  one-sidedly  and  indirectly.    Prom  the  most 
powerful,  most  significant,  and  most  distinct  phenomenon 
we  seek  to  arrive  at  an  understanding  of  those  that  are 
less  complete  and  weaker.     With  the  exception  of  my 
own  body,  all  things  are  known  to  me  only  on  one  side, 
that  of  the  idea.     Their  inner  nature  remains   hidden 
from  me  and  a  profound  secret,  even  if  I  know  all  the 
•  causes  from  which  their  changes  follow.     Onlv  by  com- 
parison with  that  which  goes  on  in  me  if  my  body  per- 
forms an  action  when  I  am  influenced  by  a  motive only 

/by  comparison,  I  say,  with  what  is  the  inner  nature  of 
my  own  changes  determined  by  external  reasons,  can  I 
obtain  insight  into  the  way  in  which  these  lifeless  bodies 
change  under  the  influence  of  causes,  and  so  understand 
what  is  their  inner  nature.  For  the  knowledge  of  the 
causes  of  the  manifestation  of  this  inner  nature  affords 
me  merely  the  rule  of  its  appearance  in  time  and  space, 
and  nothing  more.     I  can  make  this  comparison  because 


l64  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  bk.il 

my  body  is  the  only  object  of  which  I  know  not  merely 
the  one  side,  that  of  the  idea,  but  also  the  other  side 
/  which  is  called  will.  Thus,  instead  of  believing  that  T 
would  better  understand  my  own  organisation,  and  then 
my  own  knowing  and  willing,  and  my  movements  follow- 
ing upon  motives,  if  I  could  only  refer  them  to  movements 
due  to  electrical,  chemical,  and  mechanical  causes,  I  must, 
seeing  that  I  eeek  philosophy  and  not  etiology,  learn  to 
understand  from  my  own  movements  following  upon 
motives  the  inner  nature  of  the  simplest  and  commonest 
movements  of  an  unorganised  body  which  I  see  following 
upon  causes.  I  must  recognise  the  inscrutable  forces  y 
which  manifest  themselves  in  all  natural  bodies  as  identi- 
cal in  kind  with  that  which  in  me  is  the  will,  and  as 
differing  from  it  only  in  degree.  That  is  to  say,  the  fourth 
class  of°ideas  given  in  the  Essay  on  the  Principle  of  Suffi- 
cient Reason  must  be  the  key  to  the  knowledge  of  the 
inner  nature  of  the  first  class,  and  by  means  of  the  law 
of  motivation  I  must  come  to  understand  the  inner  mean- 
ing of  the  law  of  causation. 

Spinoza  (Epist.  62)  says  that  if  a  stone  which  has 
been  projected  through  the  air  had  consciousness,  it  would 
believe  that  it  was  moving  of  its  own  will.  I  add  to  this 
/only  that  the  stone  would  be  right.  The  impulse  given 
it  is  for  the  stone  what  the  motive  is  for  me,  and  what 
in  the  case  of  the  stone  appears  as  cohesion,  gravitation, 
rigidity,  is  in  its  inner  nature  the  same  as  that  which  I 
recognise  in  myself  as  will,  and  what  the  stone  also,  if 
knowledge  were  given  to  it,  would  recognise  as  will.  In 
the  passage  referred  to,  Spinoza  had  in  view  the  necessity 
with  which  the  stone  flies,  and  he  rightly  desires  to 
transfer  this  necessity  to  that  of  the  particular  act  of  will 
of  a  person.  I,  on  the  other  hand,  consider  the  inner 
being,  which  alone  imparts  meaning  and  validity  to  all 
real  ^necessity  (i.e.,  effect  following  upon  a  cause)  as  its 
presupposition.  In  the  case  of  men  this  is  called  char- 
acter; in  the  case  of  a  stone  it  is  called  quality,  but  it  is  ^ 


THE  OBJECTIFICATION  OF  THE  WILL.  165 

the  same  in  both.  When  it  is  immediately  known  it* 
is,  called  will.  In  the  stone  it  has  the  weakest,  and  in 
•man  the  strongest  degree  of  visibility,  of  objectivity.  St. 
Augustine  recognises,  with  a  true  instinct,  this  identity 
of  the  tendencies  of  all  things  with  our  own  willing,  and 
I  cannot  refrain  from  quoting  his  naive  account  of  the 
matter : — "  Si  pecora  essemus,  carnalem  vitam  et  quod  se- 
cundum sensum  ejusdem  est  amaremus,  idque  esset  sufficient 
bonum  nostrum,  et  secundum  hoc  si  esset  nobis  bene,  nihil 
aliud  qucereremus.  Item,  si  ar bores  essemus,  nihil  quidem 
sentientes  motu  amare  possemus :  verumtamen  id  quasi  ap- 
petere  videremur,  quo  feracius  essemus,  uberiusque  fructuosce. 
Si  essemus  lapides,  aut  fluctus,  ant  ventus,  aut  flamma,  vel 
quid  ejusmodi,  sine  ullo  quidem  sensu  atque  vita,  nou  tamen 
nobis  deesset  quasi  quidam  nostrorum  locorum  atque  ordinis 
appetitus.  Nam  velut  amores  corporum  momenta  sunt  pon- 
derum,  sive  deorsum  gravitate,  sive  sursum  levitate  nitantur : 
ita  enim  corpus  pondere,  sicut  animus  amore  fertur  quocun- 
quefertur"  (De  Civ.  Dei,  xi.  28). 

It  ought  further  to  be  mentioned  that  Euler  saw  that 
the  inner  nature  of  gravitation  must  ultimately  be  refer- 
red to  an  "inclination  and  desire"  (thus  will)  peculiar  to 
material  bodies  (in  the  68th  letter  to  the  Princess).  In- 
deed, it  is  just  this  that  makes  him  averse  to  the  concep- 
tion of  gravitation  as  it  existed  for  Newton,  and  he  is  in- 
clined to  try  a  modification  of  it  in  accordance  with  the 
earlier  Cartesian  theory,  and  so  to  derive  gravitation  from 
the  impact  of  an  ether  upon  the  bodies,  as  being  "  more 
rational  and  more  suitable  for  persons  who  like  clear  and 
intelligible  principles."  He  wishes  to  banish  attraction 
from  physics  as  a  qualitas  occulta.  This  is  only  in  keep- 
ing with  the  dead  view  of  nature  which  prevailed  at 
Euler's  time  as  the  correlative  of  the  immaterial  souL 
It  is  only  worth  noticing  because  of  its  bearing  upon  the 
fundamental  truth  established  by  me,  which  even  at  that 
time  this  fine  intellect  saw  glimmering  in  the  distance. 
He  hastened  to  turn  in  time,  and  then,  in  his  anxiety  at 


166  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  bk.  ii. 

seeing  all  the  prevalent  fundamental  views  endangered,  he 
sought  safety  in  the  old  and  already  exploded  absurdities. 
We  know  that  multiplicity  in  general  is  necessarily 
conditioned  by  space  and  time,  and  is  only  thinkable  in 
them.  In  this  respect  they  are  called  the  principium 
indwiduationis.  But  we  have  found  that  space  and 
time  are  forms  of  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason.  In 
this  principle  all  our  knowledge  a  priori  is  expressed, 
but,  as  we  showed  above,  this  a  priori  knowledge,  as  such, 
only  applies  to  the  knowableness  of  things,  not  to  the 
things  themselves,  i.e.,  it  is  only  our  form  of  knowledge, 
it  is  not  a  property  of  the  thing-in-itself.  The  thing-in- 
itself  is,  as  such,  free  from  all  forms  of  knowledge,  even 
the  most  universal,  that  of  being  an  object  for  the  sub- 
ject In  other  words,  the  thing-in-itself  is  something 
altogether  different  from  the  idea.  If^now,  this  thing- 
in-itself  is  the  will,  as  I  believe  I  Have  fully  and  con- 
vincingly proved  it  to  be,  then,  regarded  as  such  and 
a^rt  from  its  manifestation,  it  lies  outside  time  and 
space,  and  therefore  knows  no  multiplicity,  and  is  conse- 
quently one.  Yet,  as  I  have  said,  it  is  not  one  in  the 
sense  in  which  an  individual  or  a  concept  is  one,  but  as 
something  to  which  the  condition  of  the  possibility  of 
multiplicity,  the  principium  individuationis,  is  foreign. 
The  multiplicity  of  things  in  space  and  time,  which 
collectively  constitute  the  objectification  of  will,  does  not 
affect  the  will  itself,  which  remains  indivisible  notwith- 
standing it.  It  is  not  the  case  that,  in  some  way  or 
other,  a  smaller  part  of  will  is  in  the  stone  and  a  larger 
part  in  the  man,  for  the  relation  of  part  and  whole 
belongs  exclusively  to  space,  and  has  no  longer  any 
meaning  when  we  go  beyond  this  form  of  intuition  or 
perception.  The  more  and  the  less  have  application 
only  to  the  phenomenon  of  will,  that  is,  its  visibility,  its 
objectification.  Of  this  there  is  a  higher  grade  in  the  plant 
than  in  the  stone ;  in  the  animal  a  higher  grade  than  in 
the  plant :  indeed,  the  passage  of  will  into  visibility,  its 


THE  OBJECTIFICATION  OF  THE  WILL.  167 

objectiiication,  lias  grades  as  innumerable  as  exist  be- 
tween the  dimmest  twilight  and  the  brightest  sunshine, 
the  loudest  sound  and  the  faintest  echo.  We  shall 
return  later  to  the  consideration  of  thescTgrades  of  visi- 
bility which  belong  to  the  objectification  of  the  will,  to 
the  reflection  of  its  nature.  But  as  the  grades  of  its 
objectification  do  not  directly  concern  the  will  itself, 
still  less  is  it  concerned  by  the  multiplicity  of  the 
phenomena  of  these  different  grades,  ie.}  the  multitude 
of  individuals  of  each  form,  or  the  particular  manifesta- 
tions of  each  force.  For  this  multiplicity  is  directly 
conditioned  by  time  and  space,  into  which  the  will  itself 
never  enters.  The  will  reveals  itself  as  completely  and 
as  much  in  one  oak  as  in  millions.  Their  number  and 
multiplication  in  space  and  time  has  no  meaning  with 
regard  to  it,  but  only  with  regard  to  the  multiplicity  of 
individuals  who  know  in  space  and  time,  and  who  are 
themselves  multiplied  and  dispersed  in  these.  The  mul- 
tiplicity of  these  individuals  itself  belongs  not  to  the  will, 
but  only  to  its  manifestation.  We  may  therefore  say 
that  if,  per  impossibUe,  a  single  real  existence,  even  the 
most  insignificant,  were  to  be  entirely  annihilated,  the 
whole  world  would  necessarily  perish  with  it.  The 
great  mystic  Angelus  Silesius  feels  this  when  he  says — 

"  I  know  God  cannot  live  an  instant  without  me, 
He  must  give  up  the  ghost  if  I  should  cease  to  be.'' 

Men  have  tried  in  various  ways  to  bring  the  immeasurable 
greatness  of  the  material  universe  nearer  to  the  compre- 
hension of  us  all,  and  then  they  have  seized  the  oppor- 
tunity to  make  edifying  remarks.  They  have  referred 
perhaps  to  the  relative  smallness  of  the  earth,  and  indeed 
of  man ;  or,  on  the  contrary,  they  have  pointed  out  the 
greatness  of  the  mind  of  this  man  who  is  so  insignificant — 
the  mind  that  can  solve,  comprehend,  and  even  measure 
the  greatness  of  the  universe,  and  so  forth.  Now,  all 
this  is  very  well,  but  to  me,  when  I  consider  the  vast- 


168  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  bk.  ii. 

ness  of  the  world,  the  most  important  point  is  this,  that 
the  thing-in-itself,  whose  manifestation  is  the  world — 
whatever  else  it  may  be — cannot  have  its  true  self  spread 
out  and  dispersed  after  this  fashion  in  boundless  space, 
but  that  this  endless  extension  belongs  only  to  its  mani- 
festation. The  thing-in-itself,  on  the  contrary,  is  present 
^tire  and  undivided  in  every  object  of  nature  and  in  every 
living  being.  Therefore  we  lose  nothing  by  standing  still 
beside  any  single  individual  thing,  and  true  wisdom  is 
not  to  be  gained  by  measuring  out  the  boundless  world, 
or,  what  would  be  more  to  the  purpose,  by  actually 
traversing  endless  space.  It  is  rather  to  be  attained  by 
the  thorough  investigation  of  any  individual  thing,  for 
thus  we  seek  to  arrive  at  a  full  knowledge  and  under- 
standing of  its  true  and  peculiar  nature. 

The  subject  which  will  therefore  be  fully  considered 
in  the  next  book,  and  which  has,  doubtless,  already  pre- 
sented itself  to  the  mind  of  every  student  of  Plato,  is, 
that  these  different  grades  of  the  objectification  of  will 
which  are  manifested  in  innumerable  individuals,  and 
exist  as  their  unattained  types  or  as  the  eternal  forms  of 
things,  not  entering  themselves  into  time  and  space, 
which  are  the  medium  of  individual  things,  but  remain- 
ing fixed,  subject  to  no  change,  always  being,  never 
becoming,  while  the  particular  things  arise  and  pass 
away,  always  become  and  never  are, — that  these  grades 
of  the  oojedifieaiion  of  will  are,  I  say,  simply  Plato 's 
Ideas,  I  make  this  passing  reference  to  the  matter  here 
in  order  that  I  may  be  able  in  future  to  use  the  word 
}Idea  in  this  sense.  In  my  writings,  therefore,  the  word 
'is  always  to  be  understood  in  its  true  and  original  mean- 
ing given  to  it  by  Plato,  and  has  absolutely  no  reference 
to  those  abstract  productions  of  dogmatising  scholastic 
reason,  which  Kant  has  inaptly  and  illegitimately  used 
this  word  to  denote,  though  Plato  had  already  appro- 
priated and  used  it  most  fitly.  Bv  Idea,  then,  I  under- 
stand every  definite  and  fixed  gTade  of  the  objectificatioD 


THE  0BJEC1TF1CATI0N  OF  THE   WILL.  169 

of  will,  so  far  as  it  is  thing-in-itself,  and  therefore  has 
no  multiplicity.  These  grades  are  related  to  individual 
things  as  their  eternal  forms  or  prototypes.  The  shortest 
and  most  concise  statement  of  this  famous  Platonic 
doctrine  is  given  us  by  Diogenes  Laertes  (iii.  12):  "6 
nXarcov  <j>7](n,  ev  rrj  fyvaet,  Ta?  iBeas  iaravcu,  icadcnrep 
irapaheiyfiara,  ra  tfaWa  TavTais  eoiicevai,  tovtoov  6/j,ouo- 
fi'ara  fcadeaicora" — ("Plato  ideas  in  natura  velut  exem- 
plaria  dixit  subsistere  ;  cetera  his  esse  similia,  ad  istarum 
similitudinem  consistentia ").  Of  Kant's  misuse  of  the 
word  I  take  no  further  notice ;  what  it  is  needful  to  say 
about  it  will  be  found  in  the  Appendix. 

§  26.  The  lowest  grades  of  the  objectification  of  will  are 
to  be  found  in  those  most  universal  forces  of  nature  which 
partly  appear  in  all  matter  without  exception,  as  gravity 
and  impenetrability,  and  partly  have  shared  the  given  matter 
among  them,  so  that  certain  of  them  reign  in  one  species 
of  matter  and  others  in  another  species,  constituting  its 
specific  difference,  as  rigidity,  fluidity,  elasticity,  electricity, 
magnetism,  chemical  properties  and  qualities  of  every  kind. 
They  are  in  themselves  immediate  manifestations  of  will, 
just  as  much  as  human  action ;  and  as  such  they  are 
groundless,  like  human  character.  Only  their  particular 
manifestations  are  subordinated  to  the  principle  of 
sufficient  reason,  like  the  particular  actions  of  men.  They 
themselves,  on  the  other  hand,  can  never  be  called  either 
effect  or  cause,  but  are  the  prior  and  presupposed  condi- 
tions of  all  causes  and  effects  through  which  their  real 
nature  unfolds  and  reveals  itself.  It  is  therefore  sense- 
less to  demand  a  cause  of  gravity  or  electricity,  for  they 
are  original  forces.  Their  expressions,  indeed,  take  place 
in  accordance  with  the  law  of  cause  and  effect,  so  that 
every  one  of  their  particular  manifestations  has  a  cause, 
which  is  itself  again  just  a  similar  particular  manifesta- 
tion which  determines  that  this  force  must  express  itself 
here,  must  appear  in  space  and  time ;  but  th enforce  itself 
isby  no  means  the  effect  of  a  cause,  nor  the  .cause  of  an 


i7o  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  BK.  11. 

effect.  It  is  therefore  a  mistake  to  say  "  gravity  is  the 
cause  of  a  stone  falling ; "  for  the  cause  in  this  case  is 
rather  the  nearness  of  the  earth,  because  it  attracts  the 
stone.  Take  the  earth  away  and  the  stone  will  not  fall, 
although  gravity  remains.  The  force  itself  lies  quite 
outside  the  chain  of  causes  and  effects,  which  presupposes 
time,  because  it  only  has  meaning  in  relation  to  it ;  but 
the  force  lies  outside  time.  The  individual  change  always 
has  for  its  cause  another  change  just  as  individual  as 
itself,  and  not  the  force  of  which  it  is  the  expression. 
For  that  which  always  gives  its  efficiency  to  a  cause, 
however  many  times  it  may  appear,  is  a  force  of  nature. 
As  such,  it  is  groundless,  i.e.,  it  lies  outside  the  chain  of 
causes  and  outside  the  province  of  the  principle  of  suffi- 
cient reason  in  general,  and  is  philosophically  known  as 
the  immediate  objectivity  of  will,  which  is  the  "in-itself  " 
of  the  whole  of  nature ;  but  in  etiology,  which  in  this 
reference  is  physics,  it  is  set  down  as  an  original  force, 
i.e.,  ^jjucdiias  occulta. 

In  the  higher  grades  of  the  objectivity  of  will  we  see 
individuality  occupy  a  prominent  position,  especially  in 
the  case  of  man,  where  it  appears  as  the  great  difference 
of  individual  characters,  i.e.,  as  complete  personality,  out- 
wardly expressed  in  strongly  marked  individual  physi- 
ognomy, which  influences  the  whole  bodily  form.  None 
of  the  brutes  have  this  individuality  in  anything  like  so 
high  a  degree,  though  the  higher  species  of  them  have  a 
trace  of  it ;  but  the  character  of  the  species  completely 
predominates  over  it,  and  therefore  they  have  little 
individual  physiognomy.  The  farther  down  we  go,  the 
more  completely  is  every  trace  of  the  individual  charac- 
ter lost  in  the  common  character  of  the  species,  and  the 
physiognomy  of  the  species  alone  remains.  We  know 
the  physiological  character  of  the  species,  and  from  that 
we  know  exactly  what  is  to  be  expected  from  the  indi- 
vidual; while,  on  the  contrary,  in  the  human  species 
every   individual   has  to   be  studied   and   fathomed  for 


THE  0BJECT1PICA  TION  OF  THE  WILL.  171 

himself,  which,  if  we  wish  to  forecast  his  action  with 
some  degree  of  certainty,  is,  on  account  of  the  possibility 
of  concealment  that  first  appears  with  reason,  a  matter 
of  the  greatest  difficulty.  It  is  probably  connected  with 
this  difference  of  the  human  species  from  all  others,  that 
the  folds  and  convolutions  of  the  brain,  which  are  en- 
tirely wanting  in  birds,  and  very  weakly  marked  in 
rodents,  are  even  in  the  case  of  the  higher  animals  far  more 
symmetrical  on  both  sides,  and  more  constantly  the  same 
in  each  individual,  than  in  the  case  of  human  beings.1 
It  is  further  to  be  regarded  as  a  phenomenon  of  this 
peculiar  individual  character  which  distinguishes  men 
from  all  the  lower  animals,  that  in  the  case  of  the  brutes 
the  sexual  instinct  seeks  its  satisfaction  without  observable 
choice  of  objects,  while  in  the  case  of  man  this  choice  is, 
in  a  purely  instinctive  manner  and  independent  of  all 
reflection,  carried  so  far  that  it  rises  into  a  powerful 
passion.  While  then  every  man  is  to  be  re£arded_as_a_- 
s^ecjally^determined  and  characterised  phenomenon  of 
wilL  and  indeed  to  a  certain  extent  as  a  special  Idea, 
in  the  case  of  the  brutes  this  individual  character  as  a 
whole  is  wanting,  because  only  the  species  has  a  special 
significance.  And  the  farther  we  go  from  man,  the 
fainter  becomes  the  trace  of  this  individual  character,  so 
that  plants  have  no  individual  qualities  left,  except  such 
as  may  be  fully  explained  from  the  favourable  or  un- 
favourable external  influences  of  soil,  climate,  and  other 
accidents.  Finally,  in  the  inorganic  kingdom  of  nature 
all  individuality  disappears.  The  crystal  alone  is  to  be 
regarded  as  to  a  certain  extent  individual.  It  is  a  unity 
of  the  tendency  in  definite  directions,  fixed  by  crytallisa- 
tion,  which  makes  the  trace  of  this  tendency  permanent 
It  is  at  the  same  time  a  cu,mulatiye.j:fipetif"ion,  of  it« 
Tjrimitive  form,  bound  into  unity  by  an  idea,  just  as  the 

1  Wenzel,  De  Structura  Cerebri  9,  arts.  4  and  5  ;  Vic.  d'Azyr,  Hist. 
Hominis  et  Brutorum,  18 12,  ch.  iii.;  de  l'Acad.  de  Sc.  de  Paris,  1783,  pp. 
Cuvier,  Lecons  d'Anat.,  coinp.  lecon     470  and  483. 


172  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  bk.  ii. 

tree  is  an  aggregate  of  the  single  germinating  fibre  which 
shows  itself  in  every  rib  of  the  leaves,  in  every  leaf,  in 
every  branch;  which  repeats  itself,  and  to  some  extent 
makes  each  of  these  appear  as  a  separate  growth, 
nourishing  itself  from  the  greater  as  a  parasite,  so  that 
the  tree,  resembling  the  crystal,  is  a  systematic  aggregate 
of  small  plants,  although  only  the  whole  is  the  complete 
expression  of  an  individual  Idea,  i.e.,  of  this  particular 
grade  of  the  objectification  of  will.  But  the  individuals 
of  the  same  species  of  crystal  can  have  no  other  difference 
than  such  as  is  produced  by  external  accidents ;  indeed 
we  can  make  at  pleasure  large  or  small  crystals  of  every 
species.  The  individual,  however,  as  such,  that  is,  with 
traces  of  an  individual  character,  does  not  exist  further 
in  unorganised  nature.  All  its  phenomena  are  ex- 
pressions of  general  forces  of  nature,  i.e.,  of  those  grades 
of  the  objectification  of  will  which  do  not  objectify 
themselves  (as  is  the  case  in  organised  nature),  by  means 
of  the  difference  of  the  individualities  which  collectively 
express  the  whole  of  the  Idea,  but  show  themselves  only 
in  the  species,  and  as  a  whole,  without  any  variation  in 
each  particular  example  of  it.  Time,  space,  multiplicity, 
and  existence  conditioned  by  causes,  do  not  belong  to 
the  will  or  to  the  Idea  (the  grade  of  the  objectification  of 
will),  but  only  to  their  particular  phenomena.  There- 
fore such  a  force  of  nature  as,  for  example,  gravity 
or  electricity,  must  show  itself  as  such  in  precisely 
the  same  way  in  all  its  million  phenomena,  and  only 
external  circumstances  can  modify  these.  Thjg__  unity 
of  its  being  in_all_  its  phenomena,  thlS-jin changeable 
constancy  of  the  appearance  of  these,  whenever,  under 
the  guidance  of  casuality,  the  necessary  conditions  are 
present,  is  called  a  law  of  nature.  If  such  a  law  is 
once  learned  from  experience,  then  the  phenomenon  of 
that  force  of  nature,  the  character  of  which  is  expressed  and 
laid  down  in  it,  may  be  accurately  forecast  and  counted 
upon.      But   it   is  just   this   conformity  to  law   of  the 


THE  OBJECTIFICATION  OF  THE  WILL.  173 

phenomena  of  the  lower  grades  of  the  objectification  of 
will  which  gives  them  such  a  different  aspect  from  the 
phenomena  of  the  same  will  in  the  higher,  ie.t  the  more 
distinct,  grades  of  its  objectification,  in  animals,  and  in 
men  and  their  actions,  where  the  stronger  or  weaker 
influence  of  the  individual  character  and  the  suscep- 
tibility to  motives  which  often  remain  hidden  from  the 
spectator,  because  they  lie  in  knowledge,  has  had  the 
result  that  the  identity  of  the  inner  nature  of  the  two 
kinds  of  phenomena  has  hitherto  been  entirely  over- 
looked. 

If  we  start  from  the  knowledge  of  the  particular,  and 
not  from  that  of  the  Idea,  there  is  something  astonish- 
ing, and  sometimes  even   terrible,  in  the  absolute  uni- 
formity of  the  laws  of  nature.     It  might  astonish  us 
that  nature  never  once  forgets  her  laws;  that  if,  for 
example,  it  has  once  been  according  to  a  law  of  nature 
that  where  certain  materials  are  brought  together  under 
given  conditions,  a  chemical  combination  will  take  place, 
or  gas  will  be  evolved,  or  they  will  go  on  fire ;  if  these 
conditions  are  fulfilled,  whether  by  our  interposition  or 
entirely  by  chance  (and  in  this  case  the  accuracy  is  the 
more   astonishing    because   unexpected),  to-day  just  as 
well  as  a  thousand  years  ago,  the   determined   pheno- 
menon will  take  place  at  once  and  without  delay.     We 
are  most  vividly  impressed  with  the  marvellousness  of 
this  fact  in  the  case  of   rare   phenomena,  which  only 
occur  under  very  complex  circumstances,  but  which  we 
are  previously  informed  will  take   place  if  these   con- 
ditions are  fulfilled.     For  example,  when  we  are  told 
that  if    certain    metals,   when    arranged    alternately   in 
fluid  with  which  an  acid  has  been  mixed,  are  brought 
into  contact,  silver  leaf  brought  between  the  extremities 
of  this   combination   will   suddenly  be   consumed  in  a 
green  flame ;  or  that  under  certain  conditions  the  hard 
diamond  turns  into  carbonic  acid.      It  is   the  ghostly 
omnipresence  of  natural  forces  that  astonishes  us  in  such 


174  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  bk.  ii. 

cases,  and  we  remark  here  what  in  the  case  of  pheno- 
mena which  happen  daily  no  longer  strikes  us,  how 
the  connection  between  cause  and  effect  is  really  as 
mysterious  as  that  which  is  imagined  between  a  magic 
formula  and  a  spirit  that  must  appear  when  invoked 
by  it.  Qnjihe  other  hand,  if  we  have  attained  to  the 
philosophical  knowledge  that  ,a  force  of  nature,  i«  _a 
definite  grade  ojJ^_objectification  of  will,  that  is  to 
say,  a  definite  grade  of  that  which  we  recognise  as  our 
own  inmost  nature,  and  that  this  will  in  itself,  and 
distinguished  from  its  phenomena  and  their  forms,  jliea, 
outside  time  and  space,  and  that,  therefore,  the  multi- 
plicity, which  is  conditioned  by  time  and  space,  does  not 
belong  to  it,  nor  directly  to  the  grade  of  its  objectifica- 
tion,  i.e.,  the  Idea,  but  only  to  the  phenomena  of  the 
Idea ;  and  if  we  remember  that  the  law  of  causality  has 
significance  only  in  relation  to  time  and  space,  inasmuch 
as  it  determines  the  position  of  the  multitude  of  pheno- 
mena of  the  different  Ideas  in  which  the  will  reveals 
itself,  governing  the  order  in  which  they  must  appear; 
if,  I  say,  in  this  knowledge  the  inner  meaning  of  the 
great  doctrine  of  Kant  has  been  fully  grasped,  the 
doctrine  that  time,  space,  and  causality  do  not  belong  to 
the  thing- in-itself,  but  merely  to  the  phenomenon,  that 
they  are  only  the  forms  of  our  knowledge,  not  qualities 
of  things  in  themselves ;  then  we  shall  understand  that 
this  astonishment  at  the  conformity  to  law  and  accurate 
operation  of  a  force  of  nature,  this  astonishment  at  the 
complete  sameness  of  all  its  million  phenomena  and  the 
infallibility  of  their  occurrence,  is  really  like  that  of  a 
child  or  a  savage  who  looks  for  the  first  time  through  a 
glass  with  many  facets  at  a  flower,  and  marvels  at  the 
complete  similarity  of  the  innumerable  flowers  which 
he  sees,  and  counts  the  leaves  of  each  of  them  sepa- 
rately. 

Thus  every  universal,  original  force  of  nature  is  nothing 
but  a  low  grade  of  the  objectification  of  will,  and  we  call 


THE  OBjfECTIFICATION  OF  THE   WILL.  175 

every  such  grade  an  eternal  Idea  in  Plato's  sense.  But 
a  law  of  nature  is  the  relation  of  the  Idea  to  the  form  of 
its  manifestation.  This  form  is  time,  space,  and  causality, 
which  are  necessarily  and  inseparably  connected  and  re- 
lated to  each  other.  Through  time  and  space  the  Idea 
multiplies  itself  in  innumerable  phenomena,  but  the 
order  according  to  which  it  enters  these  forms  of  multi- 
plicity is  definitely  determined  by  the  law  of  causality;  this 
law  is  as  it  were  the  norm  of  the  limit  of  these  phenomena 
of  different  Ideas,  in  accordance  with  which  time,  space, 
and  matter  are  assigned  to  them.  This  norm  is  there- 
fore necessarily  related  to  the  identity  of  the  aggregate  of 
existing  matter,  which  is  the  common  substratum  of  all 
those  different  phenomena.  If  all  these  were  not  directed 
to  that  common  matter  in  the  possession  of  which  they 
must  be  divided,  there  would  be  no  need  for  such  a  law 
to  decide  their  claims.  They  might  all  at  once  and  to- 
gether fill  a  boundless  space  throughout  an  endless  time. 
Therefore,  because  all  these  phenomena  of  the  eternal 
Ideas  are  directed  to  one  and  the  same  matter,  must 
there  be  a  rule  for  their  appearance  and  disappearance ; 
for  if  there  were  not,  they  would  not  make  way  for  each 
other.  Thus  the  law  of  causality  is  essentially  bound  up 
with  that  of  the  permanence  of  substance ;  they  recipro- 
cally derive  significance  from  each  other.  Time  and 
space,  again,  are  related  to  them  in  the  same  way.  For 
time  is  merely  the  possibility  of  conflicting  states  _ofJhg 
same  matter,  and  ^jwg  fc  r^wiy  Jftf  possibility  "0f  $*k 
permanence  of  the  same  m.attej^u^der_all  sorts  of  con^ 
flicting  states.  Accordingly,  in  the  preceding  book  we 
explained  matter  as  the  union  of  space  and  time,  and 
this  union  shows  itself  as  change  of  the  accidents  in 
the  permanence  of  the  substance,  of  which  causality  or 
becoming  is  the  universal  possibility.  And  accordingly, 
we  said  that  matter  is  through  and  through  causality. 
We  explained  the  understanding  as  the  subjective  o.nrva. 
latiye^of  causality,  and  said  matter  (and  thus  the  whole 


176  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  BK.  n. 

world  as  idea)  exists  only  for  the  understanding;  the 
understanding  is  its  condition,  its  supporter  as  its  neces- 
sary correlative.  I  repeat  all  this  in  passing,  merely  to 
call  to  mind  what  was  demonstrated  in  the  First  Book, 
for  it  is  necessary  for  the  complete  understanding  of 
these  two  books  that  their  inner  agreement  should  be 
observed,  since  what  is  inseparably  united  in  the  actual 
world  as  its  two  sides,  will  and  idea,  has,  in  order  that 
we  might  understand  each  of  them  more  clearly  in  isola- 
tion, been  dissevered  in  these  two  books. 

It  may  not  perhaps  be  superfluous  to  elucidate  further 
by  an  example  how  the  law  of  causality  has  meaning 
only  in  relation  to  time  and  space,  and  the  matter  which 
consists  in  the  union  of  the  two.  For  it  determines  the 
limits  in  accordance  with  which  the  phenomena  of  the 
forces  of  nature  divide  themselves  in  the  possession  of 
matter,  while  the  original  forces  of  nature,  as  the  imme- 
diate objectification  of  will,  which,  as  a  thing  in  itself,  is 
not  subordinated  to  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason,  lie 
outside  these  forms,  within  which  alone  all  etiological 
explanation  has  validity  and  meaning,  and  just  on  that 
account  can  never  lead  us  to  the  inner  reality  of  nature. 
For  this  purpose  let  us  think  of  some  kind  of  machine 
constructed  according  to  the  laws  of  mechanics.  Iron 
weights  begin  the  motion  by  their  gravity  ;  copper  wheels 
resist  by  their  rigidity,  affect  and  raise  each  other  and 
the  lever  by  their  impenetrability,  and  so  on.  Here 
gravity,  rigidity,  and  impenetrability  are  original  unex- 
plained forces  ;  mechanics  only  gives  us  the  condition 
under  which,  and  the  manner  in  which,  they  manifest 
themselves,  appear,  and  govern  a  definite  matter,  time, 
and  place.  If,  now,  a  strong  magnet  is  made  to  attract 
the  iron  of  the  weight,  and  overcome  its  gravity,  the 
movement  of  the  machine  stops,  and  the  matter  becomes 
forthwith  the  scene  of  quite  a  different  force  of  nature 
— magnetism,  of  which  etiology  again  gives  no  further 
explanation  than  the  condition  under  which  it  appears. 


THE  OBJECTIFICATION  OF  THE  WILL.  i77 

Or  let  us  suppose  that  the  copper  discs  of  such  a  machine 
are  laid  upon  zinc  plates,  and  an  acid  solution  introduced 
between  them.     At  once  the  same  matter  of  the  machine 
has  become  subject  to  another  original  force,  galvanism, 
which  now  governs  it  according  to  its  own  laws,  and 
reveals  itself  in  it  through  its  phenomena ;  and  etiology 
can   again  tell  us  nothing  about  this  force  except  the 
conditions  under  which,  and  the  laws  in  accordance  with 
which,  it  manifests  itself.     Let  us   now  raise  the  tem- 
perature and  add  pure  acid ;  the  whole  machine  burns ; 
that  is  to  say,  once  more  an  entirely  different  force  of 
nature,  chemical  energy,  asserts  at  this  time  and  in  this 
place  irresistible  claims  to   this  particular  matter,  and 
reveals  itself  in  it  as  Idea,  as  a  definite  grade  of  the 
objectification  of  will.     The  calcined  metal  thus  produced 
now  unites  with  an  acid,  and  a  salt  is  obtained  which 
forms  itself  into   crystals.     These   are  the  phenomena 
of  another  Idea,  which  in   itself  is   again   quite   inex- 
plicable,  while   the    appearance    of   its    phenomena    is 
dependent  upon  certain  conditions   which  etiology  can 
give  us.    The  crystals  dissolve,  mix  with  other  materials, 
and  vegetation  springs   up  from  them — a   new  pheno- 
menon of  will :  and  so  the  same  permanent  matter  may 
be  followed  ad  infinitum,  to  observe  how  now  this  and 
now  that  natural  force  obtains  a  right  to  it  and  temporarily 
takes  possession  of  it,  in  order  to  appear  and  reveal  its 
own  nature.     The  condition  of  this  right,  the  point  of 
time  and  space  at  which  it  becomes  valid,  is  given  by 
causality,  but  the  explanation  founded  upon  this  ]aw  only 
extends  thus  far.     The  force  itself  is  a  manifestation  of 
will,  and  as  such  is  not  subject  to  the  forms  of  the  prin- 
ciple of  sufficient  reason,  that  is,  it  is  groundless.     It  lies 
outside  all  time,  is  omnipresent,  and  seems  as  it  were  to 
wait  constantly  till  the  circumstances  occur  under  which 
it  can  appear  and  take  possession  of  a  definite  matter, 
supplanting  the  forces  which  have  reigned  in  it  till  then. 
All  time  exists  only  for  the  phenomena  of  such  a  force. 
vol.  I.  M 


I78  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  BK.  n. 

and  is  without  significance  for  the  force  itself.  Through 
thousands  of  years  chemical  forces  slumber  in  matter  till 
the  contact  with  the  reagents  sets  them  free ;  then  they 
appear ;  but  time  exists  only  for  the  phenomena,  not  for 
the  forces  themselves.  For  thousands  of  years  galvanism 
slumbered  in  copper  and  zinc,  and  they  lay  quietly  beside 
silver,  which  must  be  consumed  in  flame  as  soon  as  all 
three  are  brought  together  under  the  required  conditions. 
Even  in  the  organic  kingdom  we  see  a  dry  seed  preserve 
the  slumbering  force  through  three  thousand  years,  and 
when  at  last  the  favourable  circumstances  occur,  grow  up 
as  a  plant.1 

If  by  this  exposition  the  difference  between  a  force  of 
nature  and  all  its  phenomena  has  been  made  quite  dis- 
tinct ;  if  we  have  seen  clearly  that  the  former  is  the  will 
itself  at  this  particular  grade  of  its  objectification,  but 
that  multiplicity  comes  to  phenomena  only  through  time 
and  space,  and  that  the  law  of  causality  is  nothing  but 
the  determination  of  the  position  of  these  phenomena  in 
/time  and  space;  then  we  shall  recognise  the  complete 
truth  and  the  deep  meaning  of  Malebranche's  doctrine  of 
occasional  causes  (causes  occasionelles).     It  is  well  worth 

3  On  the  1 6th  of  September  1840,  years  old.     He  had  planted  it  in  a 

at  a  lecture  upon  Egyptian  Archseo-  flower-pot,  in  which  it  grew  up  and 

logy  delivered  by  Mr.  Pettigrew  at  flourished.     This  is  quoted  from  the 

the  Literary  and  Scientific  Institute  Medical  Journal  of  1830  in  the  Jour- 

of  London,  he  showed  some  corns  of  nal  of  the  Koyal  Institution  of  Great 

wheat  which  Sir  G.  Wilkinson  had  Britain,  October  1830,  p.  196.— "In 

found  in  a  grave  at  Thebes,  in  which  the  garden  of  Mr.  Grimstone  of  the 

they  must  have  lain  for  three  thou-  Herbarium,  Highgate.  London,  is  a 

sand  years.     They  were  found  in  an  pea  in  full  fruit,  which  has  sprung 

hermetically  sealed  vase.    Mr.  Petti-  from  a  pea  that  Mr.  Pettigrew  and 

grew  had  sowed  twelve  grains,  and  the  officials  of  the  British  Museum 

obtained  a  plant  which  grew  five  feet  took  out  of  a  vase  which  had  been 

high,  and  the  seeds  of  which  were  found  in  an  Egyptian  sarcophagus, 

now  quite  ripe. — Times,  21st  Septem-  where  it  must  have  lain  2S44  years." 

ber  1840.     In  the  same  way  in  1830  —Times,  16th  August  1844.  Indeed, 

Mr.  Haulton  produced  in  the  Medical  the  living  toads  found  in  limestone 

Botanical  Society  of  London  a  bui-  lead  to  the  conclusion  that  even  ani- 

bous  root   which  was   found  in   the  mal  life  is  capable  of  such  a  suspen- 

hand  of   an   Egyptian   mummy,   in  sion  for  thousands  of  years,  if  this 

which  it  was  probably  put  in  observ-  is    begun    in    the    dormant    period 

Mice  of  some  religious  rite,  and  which  and  maintained  by  special   circuit 

must  have  been  at  least  two  thousand  stances. 


THE  OBJECTIFICATION  OF  THE  WILL.  i79 

while  comparing  this  doctrine  of  his,  as  he  explains  it  in 
the  "Becherches  de  la  V^rite,"  both  in  the  3rd  Chapter  of 
the  second  part  of  the  6th  Book,  and  in  the  eclaircisse- 
ments  appended  to  this  chapter,  with  this  exposition  of 
mine,  and  observing  the  complete  agreement  of  the  two 
doctrines  in  the  case  of  such  different  systems  of  thought 
Indeed  I  cannot  help  admiring  how  Malebranche,  though 
thoroughly  involved  in  the  positive  dogmas  which  his  aae 
inevitably  forced  upon  him,  yet,  in  such  bonds  and  under 
such  a  burden,  hit  the  truth  so  happily,  so  correctly,  and 
even  knew  how  to  combine  it  with  these  dogmas,  at  all 
events  verbally. 

For  the  power  of  truth  is  incredibly  great  and  of  un- 
speakable endurance.  We  find  constant  traces  of  it  in 
all,  even  the  most  eccentric  and  absurd  dogmas,  of  diffe- 
rent times  and  different  lands,— often  indeed  in  stran-e 
company,  curiously  mixed  up  with  other  things,  but  still 
recognisable.  It  is  like  a  plant  that  germinates  under  a 
heap  o(  great  stones,  but  still  struggles  up  to  the  LVrht 
working  itself  through  with  many  deviations  and  windinW 
disfigured,  worn  out,  stunted  in  its  growth,— but  yet  °to 
the  light.  ' 

u  In  any  case  Malebranche  is  right :  every  natural  cause 
is  only  an  occasional  cause.  It  only  gives  opportunity 
or  occasion  for  the  manifestation  of  the  one  indivisible 
will  which  is  the  "in-itself"  of  all  things,  and  whose 
graduated  objectification  is  the  whole  visible  world.  Only 
the  appearance,  the  becoming  visible,  in  this  place,  at 
this  time,  is  brought  about  by  the  cause  and  is  so  far 
dependent  on  it,  but  not  the  whole  of  the  phenomenon 
nor  its  inner  nature.  This  is  the  will  itself,  to  which 
the  principle  of  sufficient  reason  has  not  application,  and 
which  is  therefore  groundless.  Nothing  in  the  world  has 
a  sufficient  cause  of  its  existence  generally,  but  only  a 
cause  of  existence  just  here  and  just  now.  That  a 
stone  exhibits  now  gravity,  now  rigidity,  now  elec- 
tricity,   now    chemical    qualities,    depends   upon   causes, 


( 


rfo  THE   WORLD  AS  WILL.  bk.  n. 

upon   impressions  upon   it  from   without,  and  is  to  be 
explained  from  these.     But  these  qualities   themselves, 
and  thus  the  whole  inner  nature  of  the  stone  which  con- 
sists in  them,  and  therefore  manifests  itself  in  all  the 
ways  referred  to ;  thus,  in  genera],  that  the  stone  is  such 
as  it  is,  that  it  exists  generally — all  this,  I  say,  has  no 
ground,  but  is  the  visible  appearance  of  the  groundless 
will.     Every  ^njiRP  ^  f1l11g  an  nnnaAinnal  rflusft.     We  have 
found  it  to  be  so  in  nature,  which  is  without  knowledge, 
and  it  is  also  precisely  the  same  when  motives  and  not 
causes  or  stimuli  determine  the  point  at  which  the  phe- 
nomena are  to  appear,  that  is  to  say,  in  the  actions  of 
animals  and  human  beings.     For  in  both  cases  it  is  one 
and  the  same  will  which  appears  ;  very  different  in  the 
grades  of  its  manifestation,  multiplied  in  the  phenomena 
of  these  grades,  and,  in  respect  of  these,  subordinated  to 
the  principle  of  sufficient  reason,  but  in  itself  free  from 
all  this.    Motives  do  not  determine  the  character  of  man, 
but  only  the  phenomena  of  his  character,  that  is,  his 
actions;  the   outward  fashion  of  his  life,  not  its  inner 
meaning  and  content     These  proceed  from  the  character 
which  is  the  immediate  manifestation  of  the  will,  and  is 
therefore  groundless.  ''That  one  man  is  bad  and  another 
good,  does  not  depend  upon  motives  or  outward  influ- 
ences,  such   as   teaching  and  preaching,  and  is  in  this 
sense  quite  inexplicable.     But  whether  a  bad  man  shows 
his  badness  in  petty  acts  of  injustice,  cowardly  tricks, 
and  low  knavery  which  he  practises  in  the  narrow  sphere 
of  his  circumstances,  or  whether  as  a  conqueror  he  op- 
presses nations,  throws   a  world  into  lamentation,  and 
sheds   the  blood  of  millions ;  this  is  the  outward  form 
of  his  manifestation,  that  which  is  unessential  to  it,  and 
depends  upon  the  circumstances  in  which  fate  has  placed 
him,   upon   his   surroundings,  upon   external   influences, 
upon  motives ;  but  his  decision  upon  these  motives  can 
never  be  explained  from  them ;  it  proceeds  from  the  will, 
of  which  this  man  is  a  manifestation/'  Of  this  we  shall 


THE  OBJECTIFICATION  OF  THE  WILL.  181 

speak  in  the  Fourth  Book.  The  manner  in  which  the 
character  discloses  its  qualities  is  quite  analogous  to  the 
way  in  which  those  of  every  material  body  in  unconscious 
nature  are  disclosed.  Water  remains  water  with  its 
intrinsic  qualities,  whether  as  a  still  lake  it  reflects  its 
banks,  or  leaps  in  foam  from  the  cliffs,  or,  artificially  con- 
fined, spouts  in  a  long  jet  into  the  air.  All  that  depends 
upon  external  causes ;  the  one  form  is  as  natural  to  it  as 
the  other,  but  it  will  always  show  the  same  form  in  the 
same  circumstances ;  it  is  equally  ready  for  any,  but  in 
every  case  true  to  its  character,  and  at  all  times  reveal- 
ing this  alone.  So  will  every  human  character  under 
all  circumstances  reveal  itself,  but  the  phenomena  which 
proceed  from  it  will  always  be  in  accordance  with  the 
circumstances. 

§  27.  If,  from  the  foregoing  consideration  of  the 
forces  of  nature  and  their  phenomena,  we  have  come  to 
see  clearly  how  far  an  explanation  from  causes  can  go, 
and  where  it  must  stop  if  it  is  not  to  degenerate  into  the 
vain  attempt  to  reduce  the  content  of  all  phenomena  to 
their  mere  form,  in  which  case  there  would  ultimately 
remain  nothing  but  form,  we  shall  be  able  to  settle  in 
general  terms  what  is  to  be  demanded  of  etiology  as  a 
whole.  It  must  seek  out  the  causes  of  all  phenomena 
in  nature,  i.e.,  the  circumstances  under  which  they  in- 
variably appear.  Then  it  must  refer  the  multitude  of 
phenomena  which  have  various  forms  in  various  circum- 
stances to  what  is  active  in  every  phenomenon,  and  is 
presupposed  in  the  cause, — original  forces  of  nature.  It 
must  correctly  distinguish  between  a  difference  of  the 
phenomenon  which  arises  from  a  difference  of  the  force, 
and  one  which  results  merely  from  a  difference  of  the 
circumstances  under  which  the  force  expresses  itself; 
and  with  equal  care  it  must  guard  against  taking  the 
expressions  of  one  and  the  same  force  under  different 
circumstances  for  the  manifestations  of  different  forces, 
and  conversely  against  taking  for  manifestations  of  one 


182  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  bk.il 

and  the  same  force  what  originally  belongs  to  different 
forces.  Now  this  is  the  direct  work  of  the  faculty  of 
judgment,  and  that  is  why  so  few  men  are  capable  of 
increasing  our  insight  in  physics,  while  all  are  able  to 
enlarge  experience.  Indolence  and  ignorance  make  us 
disposed  to  appeal  too  soon  to  original  forces.  This  is 
exemplified  with  an  exaggeration  that  savours  of  irony 
in  the  entities  and  quidities  of  the  schoolmen.  Nothiug 
is  further  from  my  desire  than  to  favour  their  resusci- 
tation. We  have  just  as  little  right  to  appeal  to  the 
objectiiication  of  will,  instead  of  giving  a  physical  ex- 
planation, as  we  have  to  appeal  to  the  creative  power  of 
God.  For  physics  demands  causes,  and  the  will  is  never 
a  cause.  Its  whole  relation  to  the  phenomenon  is  not  in 
accordance  with  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason.  But 
that  which  in  itself  is  the  will  exists  in  another  aspect 
as  idea;  that  is  to  say,  is  phenomenon.  As  such,  it 
obeys  the  laws  which  constitute  the  form  of  the  pheno- 
menon. Every  movement,  for  example,  although  it  is 
always  a  manifestation  of  will,  must  yet  have  a  cause 
from  which  it  is  to  be  explained  in  relation  to  a  par- 
ticular time  and  space;  that  is,  not  in  general  in  its 
inner  nature,  but  as  a  particular  phenomenon.  In  the 
case  of  the  stone,  this  is  a  mechanical  cause ;  in  that  of 
the  movement  of  a  man,  it  is  a  motive ;  but  in  no  case 
can  it  be  wanting.  On  the  other  hand,  the  universal 
common  nature  of  all  phenomena  of  one  particular  kind, 
that  which  must  be  presupposed  if  the  explanation  from 
causes  is  to  have  any  sense  and  meaning,  is  the  general 
force  of  nature,  which,  in  physics,  must  remain  a  qualita* 
occulta,  because  with  it  the  etiological  explanation  ends 
and  the  metaphysical  begins.  But  the  chain  of  causes 
and  effects  is  never  broken  by  an  original  force  to  which 
it  has  been  necessary  to  appeal.  It  does  not  run  back 
to  such  a  force  as  if  it  were  its  first  link,  but  the  nearest 
link,  as  well  as  the  remotest,  presupposes  the  original 
force,  and  could  otherwise  explain  nothing.     A  series  of 


THE  OBJECTIFICATION  OF  THE  WILL.  183 

causes  and  effects  may  be  the  manifestation  of  the  most 
different  kinds  of  forces,  whose  successive  visible  appear- 
ances are  conducted  through  it,  as  I  have  illustrated  above 
by  the  example  of  a  metal  machine.  But  the  difference 
of  these  original  forces,  which  cannot  be  referred  to  each 
other,  by  no  means  breaks  the  unity  of  that  chain  of  causes, 
and  the  connection  between  all  its  links.  The  etiology 
and  the  philosophy  of  nature  never  do  violence  to 
each  other',  but  go  hand  in  hand,  regarding  the  same 
object  from  different  points  of  view.  Etiology  gives  an 
account  of  the  causes  which  necessarily  produce  the  par- 
ticular phenomenon  to  be  explained.  It  exhibits,  as  the 
foundation  of  all  its  explanations,  the  universal  forces 
which  are  active  in  all  these  causes  and  effects.  It 
accurately  defines,  enumerates,  and  distinguishes  these 
forces,  and  then  indicates  all  the  different  effects  in  which 
each  force  appears,  regulated  by  the  difference  of  the 
circumstances,  always  in  accordance  with  its  own  peculiar 
character,  which  it  discloses  in  obedience  to  an  invariable 
rule,  called  a  law  of  nature.  When  all  this  has  been 
thoroughly  accomplished  by  physics  in  every  particular, 
it  will  be  complete,  and  its  work  will  be  done.  There 
will  then  remain  no  unknown  force  in  unorganised  nature, 
nor  any  effect,  which  has  not  been  proved  to  be  the  mani- 
festation of  one  of  these  forces  under  definite  circum- 
stances, in  accordance  with  a  law  of  nature.  Yet  a  law 
of  nature  remains  merely  the  observed  rule  according  to 
which  nature  invariably  proceeds  whenever  certain  definite 
circumstances  occur.  Therefore  a  law  of  nature  may  be 
defined  as  a  fact  expressed  generally — unfait  ge'ndralise' — 
and  thus  a  complete  enumeration  of  all  the  laws  of  nature 
would  only  be  a  complete  register  of  facts.  The  con- 
sideration of  nature  as  a  whole  is  thus  completed  in 
morphology,  which  enumerates,  compares,  and  arranges  all 
the  enduring  forms  of  organised  nature.  Of  the  causes 
of  the  appearance  of  the  individual  creature  it  has  little 
to  say,  for  in  all  cases  this  is  procreation  (the  theory  of 


1 84  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  bk.  ii. 

which  is  a  separate  matter),  and  in  rare  cases  the  generatio 
cequivoca.  But  to  this  last  belongs,  strictly  speaking,  the 
manner  in  which  all  the  lower  grades  of  the  objectifica- 
tion  of  will,  that  is  to  say,  physical  and  chemical  pheno- 
mena, appear  as  individual,  and  it  is  precisely  the  task 
of  etiology  to  point  out  the  conditions  of  this  appearance. 
Philosophy,  on  the  other  hand,  concerns  itself  only  with 
the  universal,  in  nature  as  everywhere  else.  The  original 
forces  themselves  are  here  its  object,  and  it  recognises  in 
them  the  different  grades  of  the  objectivity  of  will,  which 
is  the  inner  nature,  the  "  in-itself  "  of  this  world ;  and 
when  it  regards  the  world  apart  from  will,  it  explains  it 
as  merely  the  idea  of  the  subject.  But  if  etiology,  in- 
stead of  preparing  the  way  for  philosophy,  and  supplying 
its  doctrines  with  practical  application  by  means  of 
instances,  supposes  that  its  aim  is  rather  to  deny  the 
existence  of  all  original  forces,  except  perhaps  one,  the 
most  general,  for  example,  impenetrability,  which  it 
imagines  it  thoroughly  understands,  and  consequently 
seeks  forcibly  to  refer  all  the  others  to  it — it  forsakes  its 
own  province  and  can  only  give  us  error  instead  of 
truth.  The  content  of  nature  is  supplanted  by  its  form, 
everything  is  ascribed  to  the  circumstances  which  work 
from  without,  and  nothing  to  the  inner  nature  of  the 
thing.  Now  if  it  were  possible  to  succeed  by  this  method, 
a  problem  in  arithmetic  would  ultimately,  as  we  have 
already  remarked,  solve  the  riddle  of  the  universe.  But 
this  is  the  method  adopted  by  those,  referred  to  above, 
who  think  that  all  physiological  effects  ought  to  be  reduced 
to  form  and  combination,  this,  perhaps,  to  electricity,  and 
this  again  to  chemism,  and  chemism  to  mechanism.  The 
mistake  of  Descartes,  for  example,  and  of  all  the  Atomists, 
was  of  this  last  description.  They  referred  the  move- 
ments of  the  globe  to  the  impact  of  a  fluid,  and  the 
qualities  of  matter  to  the  connection  and  form  of  the 
atoms,  and  hence  they  laboured  to  explain  all  the  pheno- 
mena  of  nature  as  merely  manifestations  of  impenetra- 


THE  OBJECTIFICATION  OF  THE   WILL.  185 

bility  and  cohesion.  Although  this  has  been  given  up, 
precisely  the  same  error  is  committed  in  our  own  day  by 
the  electrical,  chemical,  and  mechanical  physiologists,  who 
obstinately  attempt  to  explain  the  whole  of  life  and  all  the 
functions  of  the  organism  from  "  form  and  combination." 
In  Meckel's  "Archiv  fur  Physiologie  "  (1820,  vol.  v.  p. 
185)  we  still  find  it  stated  that  the  aim  of  physiological 
explanation  is  the  reduction  of  organic  life  to  the  universal 
forces  with  which  physics  deals.  Lamarck  also,  in  his 
"  Philosophic  Zoologique"  explains  life  as  merely  the 
effect  of  warmth  and  electricity  :  le  calorique  et  la  matiere 
electrique  sufflsent  parfaitement  pour  composer  ensemble  cette 
cause  essentielle  de  la  vie  (p.  1 6).  According  to  this,  warmth 
and  electricity  would  be  the  "  thing-in-itself,"  and  the 
world  of  animals  and  plants  its  phenomenal  appearance. 
The  absurdity  of  this  opinion  becomes  glaringly  apparent 
at  the  306th  and  following  pages  of  that  work.  It  is 
well  known  that  all  these  opinions,  that  have  been  so 
often  refuted,  have  reappeared  quite  recently  with  re- 
newed confidence.  If  we  carefully  examine  the  founda- 
tion of  these  views,  we  shall  find  that  they  ultimately 
involve  the  presupposition  that  the  organism  is  merely 
an  aggregate  of  phenomena  of  physical,  chemical,  and  me- 
chanical forces,  which  have  come  together  here  by  chance, 
and  produced  the  organism  as  a  freak  of  nature  without 
further  significance.  The  organism  of  an  animal  or  of  a 
human  being  would  therefore  be,  if  considered  philosophi- 
cally, not  the  exhibition  of  a  special  Idea,  that  is,  not  itself 
immediate  objectivity  of  the  will  at  a  definite  higher 
grade,  but  in  it  would  appear  only  those  Ideas  which 
objectify  the  will  in  electricity,  in  chemism,  and  in 
mechanism.  Thus  the  organism  would  be  as  fortuitously 
constructed  by  the  concurrence  of  these  forces  as  the 
forms  of  men  and  beasts  in  clouds  and  stalactites,  and 
would  therefore  in  itself  be  no  more  interesting  than  they 
are.  However,  we  shall  see  immediately  how  far  the 
application  of  physical  and  chemical  modes  of  explana- 


186  THE   WORLD  AS  WILL.  bk.  II. 

tion  to  the  organism  may  yet,  within  certain  limits,  be 
allowable  and  useful ;  for  I  shall  explain  that  the  vital 
force  certainly  avails  itself  of  and  uses  the  forces  of 
unorganised  nature ;  yet  these  forces  no  more  constitute 
the  vital  force  than  a  hammer  and  anvil  make  a  black- 
smith. Therefore  even  the  most  simple  example  of  plant 
life  can  never  be  explained  from  these  forces  by  any 
theory  of  capillary  attraction  and  endosmose,  much  less 
animal  life.  The  following  observations  will  prepare  the 
way  for  this  somewhat  difficult  discussion. 

It  follows  from  all  that  has  been  said  that  it  is 
certainly  an  error  on  the  part  of  natural  science  to  seek 
to  refer  the  higher  grades  of  the  objectirication  of  will  to 
the  lower ;  for  the  failure  to  recognise,  or  the  denial  of, 
original  and  self-existing  forces  of  nature  is  just  as  wrong 
as  the  groundless  assumption  of  special  forces  when  what 
occurs  is  merely  a  peculiar  kind  of  manifestation  of  what 
is  already  known.  Thus  Kant  rightly  says  that  it  would 
be  absurd  to  hope  for  a  blade  of  grass  from  a  Newton, 
that  is,  from  one  who  reduced  the  blade  of  grass  to  the 
manifestions  of  physical  and  chemical  forces,  of  which  it 
was  the  chance  product,  and  therefore  a  mere  freak  of 
nature,  in  which  no  special  Idea  appeared,  i.e.,  the  will 
did  not  directly  reveal  itself  in  it  in  a  higher  and 
specific  grade,  but  just  as  in  the  phenomena  of  unor- 
ganised nature  and  by  chance  in  this  form.  The  school- 
men, who  certainly  would  not  have  allowed  such  a 
doctrine,  would  rightly  have  said  that  it  was  a  complete 
denial  of  the  forma  substantial™,  and  a  degradation  of  it 
to  the  forma  axcidentalis.  For  the  forma  sulstantialis  of 
Aristotle  denotes  exactly  what  I  call  the  grade  of  the 
objectirication  of  will  in  a  thing.  On  the  other  hand, 
it  is  not  to  be  overlooked  that  in  all  ixleas,  that  is,  in  all 
forces  of  unorganised,  and  all  forms  of  organised  nature, 
it  is  one  and  the  same  will  that  reveals  itself,  that  is  to 
say,  which  enters  the  form  of  the  idea  and  passes  into  objec- 
tivity.    Its  unity   must  therefore    be   also    recognisable 


THE  OBJECTIFICATION  OF  THE  WILL.  187 

through  an  inner  relationship  between  all  its  phenomena. 
Now  this  reveals  itself  in  the  higher  grades  of  the  ob- 
jectification  of  will,  where  the  whole  phenomenon  is  more 
distinct,  thus  in  the  vegetable  and  animal  kingdoms, 
through  the  universally  prevailing  analogy  of  all  forms, 
the  fundamental  type  which  recurs  in  all  phenomena. 
This  has,  therefore,  become  the  guiding  principle  of  the 
admirable  zoological  system  which  was  originated 
by  the  French  in  this  century,  and  it  is  most  com- 
pletely established  in  comparative  anatomy  as  Vunite 
de  plan,  Vuniformitd  de  ViUment  anatonrique.  To  dis- 
cover this  fundamental  type  has  been  the  chief  con- 
cern, or  at  any  rate  the  praiseworthy  endeavour,  of 
the  natural  philosophers  of  the  school  of  Schelling,  who 
have  in  this  respect  considerable  merit,  although  in 
many  cases  their  hunt  after  analogies  in  nature  degener- 
ated into  mere  conceits.  They  have,  however,  rightly 
shown  that  that  general  relationship  and  family  likeness 
exists  also  in  the  Ideas  of  unorganised  nature ;  for 
example,  between  electricity  and  magnetism,  the  iden- 
tity of  which  was  afterwards  established ;  between  che- 
mical attraction  and  gravitation,  and  so  forth.  They 
specially  called  attention  to  the  fact  that  polarity,  that 
is,  the  sundering  of  a  force  into  two  qualitatively  dif- 
ferent and  opposed  activities  striving  after  reunion, 
which  also  shows  itself  for  the  most  part  in  space  as  a 
dispersion  in  opposite  directions,  is  a  fundamental  type 
of  almost  all  the  phenomena  of  nature,  from  the  magnet 
and  the  crystal  to  man  himself.  Yet  this  knowledge 
has  been  current  in  China  from  the  earliest  times,  in  the 
doctrine  of  opposition  of  Yin  and  Yang.  Indeed,  since 
all  things  in  the  world  are  the  objectification  of  one  and 
the  same  will,  and  therefore  in  their  inner  nature  iden- 
tical, it  must  not  only  be  the  case  that  there  is  that 
unmistakable  analogy  between  them,  and  that  in  every 
phenomenon  the  trace,  intimation,  and  plan  of  the 
higher   phenomenon   that  lies   next   to   it   in    point    of 


.. 


1 88  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  BK 

development  shows  itself,  but  also  because  all  these 
forms  belong  to  the  world  as  idea,  it  is  indeed  conceiv- 
able that  even  in  the  most  universal  forms  of  the  idea, 
in  that  peculiar  framework  of  the  phenomenal  world 
space  and  time,  it  may  be  possible  to  discern  and  estab- 
lish the  fundamental  type,  intimation,  and  plan  of  what 
iills  the  forms.  It  seems  to  have  been  a  dim  notion  of 
this  that  was  the  origin  of  the  Cabala  and  all  the  mathe- 
matical philosophy  of  the  Pythagoreans,  and  also  of  the  • 
Chinese  in  Y-king.  In  the  school  of  Schelling  also,  to 
which  we  have  already  referred,  we  find,  among  their 
efforts  to  bring  to  light  the  similarity  among  the  pheno- 
mena of  nature,  several  attempts  (though  rather  unfor- 
tunate ones)  to  deduce  laws  of  nature  from  the  laws 
of  pure  space  and  time.  However,  one  can  never  tell  to 
what  extent  a  man  of  genius  will  realise  both  endeavours. 

Now,  although  the  difference  between  phenomenon 
and  thing-in-itself  is  never  lost  sight  of,  and  therefore 
the  identity  of  the  will  which  objectifies  itself  in  all 
Ideas  can  never  (because  it  has  different  grades  of  its 
objectification)  be  distorted  to  mean  identity  of  the 
particular  Ideas  themselves  in  which  it  appears,  so  that, 
for  example,  chemical  or  electrical  attraction  can  never  be 
reduced  to  the  attraction  of  gravitation,  although  this 
inner  analogy  is  known,  and  the  former  may  be  regarded 
as,  so  to  speak,  higher  powers  of  the  latter,  just  as 
little  does  the  similarity  of  the  construction  of  all 
animals  warrant  us  in  mixing  and  identifying  the 
species  and  explaining  the  more  developed  as  mere 
variations  of  the  less  developed;  and  although,  finally, 
the  physiological  functions  are  never  to  be  reduced  to 
chemical  or  physical  processes,  yet,  in  justification  of  this 
procedure,  within  certain  limits,  we  may  accept  the  fol- 
lowing observations  as  highly  probable. 

If  several  of  the  phenomena  of  will  in  the  lower 
grades  of  its  objectification — that  is,  in  unorganised  nature 
—come  into  conflict  because  each  of  them,  under  the 


THE  OBJECTIFICATION  OF  THE   WILL,  189 

guidance  of  causality,  seeks  to  possess  a  given  portion  of 
matter,  there  arises  from  the  conflict  the  phenomenon  of 
a  higher  Idea  which  prevails  over  all  the  less  developed 
phenomena  previously  there,  yet  in  such  a  way  that  it 
allows  the  essence  of  these  to  continue  to  exist  in  a 
subordinate  manner,  in  that  it  takes  up  into  itself  from 
them  something  which  is  analogous  to  them.  .This 
process  is  only  intelligible  from  the  identity  of  the  will 
which  manifests  itself  in  all  the  Ideas,  and  which  is 
always  striving  after  higher  objectification.  We  thus 
see,  for  example,  in  the  hardening  of  the  bones,  an 
unmistakable  analogy  to  crystallisation,  as  the  force 
which  originally  had  possession  of  the  chalk,  although 
ossification  is  never  to  be  reduced  to  crystallisation. 
The  analogy  shows  itself  in  a  weaker  degree  in  the  flesh 
becoming  firm.  The  combination  of  humours  in  the 
animal  body  and  secretion  are  also  analogous  to  chemi- 
cal combination  and  separation.  Indeed,  the  laws  of 
chemistry  are  still  strongly  operative  in  this  case,  but 
subordinated,  very  much  modified,  and  mastered  by  a 
higher  Idea ;  therefore  mere  chemical  forces  outside  the 
organism  will  never  afford  us  such  humours ;  but 

"  Encheiresin  naturae  nennt  es  die  Chemie, 
Spottet  ihrer  selbst  und  weiss  nicht  wie." 

The  more  developed  Idea  resulting  from  this  victory  over 
several  lower  Ideas  or  objectifications  of  will,  gains  an 
entirely  new  character  by  taking  up  into  itself  from  every 
Idea  over  which  it  has  prevailed  a  strengthened  analogy. 
The  will  objectifies  itself  in  a  new,  more  distinct  way. 
It  originally  appears  in  generatio  cequivoca  ;  afterwards  in 
assimilation  to  the  given  germ,  organic  moisture,  plant, 
animal,  man.  Thus  from  the  strife  of  lower  phenomena 
the  higher  arise,  swallowing  them  all  up,  but  yet  realis- 
ing in  the  higher  grade  the  tendency  of  all  the  lower. 
Here,  then,  already  the  law  applies — Serpens  nisi  set- 
pentem  comederit  non  fit  draco. 


190  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  bk.il 

I  wish  it  had  been  possible  for  me  to  dispel  by  clear- 
ness of  explanation  the  obscurity  which  clings  to  the 
subject  of  these  thoughts ;  but  I  see  very  well  that  the 
reader's  own  consideration  of  the  matter  must  materially 
aid  me  if  I  am  not  to  remain  uncomprehended  or  mis- 
understood. According  to  the  view  I  have  expressed, 
the  traces  of  chemical  and  physical  modes  of  operation 
will  indeed  be  found  in  the  organism,  but  it  can  never 
be  explained  from  them ;  because  it  is  by  no  means  a 
phenomenon  even  accidentally  brought  about  through  the 
united  actions  of  such  forces,  but  a  higher  Idea  which 
has  overcome  these  lower  ideas  by  subduing  assimilation ; 
for  the  one  will  which  objectifies  itself  in  all  Ideas  always 
seeks  the  highest  possible  objectification,  and  has  there- 
fore in  this  case  given  up  the  lower  grades  of  its 
manifestation  after  a  conflict,  in  order  to  appear  in  a 
higher  grade,  and  one  so  much  the  more  powerful.  No 
victory  without  conflict :  since  the  higher  Idea  or  objec- 
tification of  will  can  only  appear  through  the  conquest 
of  the  lower,  it  endures  the  opposition  of  these  lower 
Ideas,  which,  although  brought  into  subjection,  still  con- 
stantly strive  to  obtain  an  independent  and  complete 
expression  of  their  being.  The  magnet  that  has  attracted 
a  piece  of  iron  carries  on  a  perpetual  conflict  with  gravi- 
tation, which,  as  the  lower  objectification  of  will,  has  a 
prior  right  to  the  matter  of  the  iron  ;  and  in  this  constant 
battle  the  magnet  indeed  grows  stronger,  for  the  opposi- 
tion excites  it,  as  it  were,  to  greater  effort.  In  the  same 
way  every  manifestation  of  the  will,  including  that  which 
expresses  itself  in  the  human  organism,  wages  a  con- 
stant war  against  the  many  physical  nnd  chemical  forces 
which,  as  lower  Ideas,  have  a  prior  right  to  that  matter. 
Thus  the  arm  falls  which  for  a  while,  overcoming  gravity, 
we  have  held  stretched  out;  thus  the  pleasing  sensa- 
tion of  health,  which  proclaims  the  victory  of  the  Idea 
of  the  self-conscious  organism  over  the  physical  and 
chemical  laws,  which  originally  governed  the  humours  of 


THE  0BJECT1FICATI0N  OF  THE   WILL.  iqi 

the  body,  is  so  often  interrupted,  and  is  indeed  always 
accompanied  by  greater  or  less  discomfort,  which  arises 
from  the  resistance  of  these  forces,  and  on  account  of 
which  the  vegetative  part  of  our  life  is  constantly  attended 
by  slight  pain.  Thus  also  digestion  weakens  all  the  ani- 
mal functions,  because  it  requires  the  whole  vital  force  to 
overcome  the  chemical  forces  of  nature  by  assimilation. 
Hence  also  in  general  the  burden  of  physical  life,  the 
necessity  of  sleep,  and,  finally,  of  death ;  for  at  last  these 
subdued  forces  of  nature,  assisted  by  circumstances,  win 
back  from  the  organism,  wearied  even  by  the  constant 
victory,  the  matter  it  took  from  them,  and  attain  to  an 
unimpeded  expression  of  their  being.  We  may  therefore 
say  that  every  organism  expresses  the  Idea  of  which  it  is 
the  image,  only  after  we  have  subtracted  the  part  of  its 
force  which  is  expended  in  subduing  the  lower  Ideas  that 
strive  with  it  for  matter.  This  seems  to  have  been 
running  in  the  mind  of  Jacob  Bohm  when  he  says  some- 
where that  all  the  bodies  of  men  and  animals,  and  even 
all  plants,  are  really  half  dead.  According  as  the  sub- 
jection in  the  organism  of  these  forces  of  nature,  which 
express  the  lower  grades  of  the  objectification  of  will,  is 
more  or  less  successful,  the  more  or  the  less  completely 
does  it  attain  to  the  expression  of  its  Idea ;  that  is  to 
say,  the  nearer  it  is  to  the  ideal  or  the  further  from  it — 
the  ideal  of  beauty  in  its  species. 

Thus  everywhere  in  nature  we  see  strife,  conflict,  and 
alternation  of  victory,  and  in  it  we  shall  come  to  recognise 
more  distinctly  that  variance  with  itself  which  is  essential 
to  the  will.  Every  grade  of  the  objectification  of  will 
fights  for  the  matter,  the  space,  and  the  time  of  the  others. 
The  permanent  matter  must  constantly  change  its  form ; 
for  under  the  guidance  of  causality,  mechanical,  physical, 
chemical,  and  organic  phenomena,  eagerly  striving  to  ap- 
pear, wrest  the  matter  from  each  other,  for  each  desires 
to  reveal  its  own  Idea.  This  strife  may  be  followed  through 
the  whole  of  nature  ;  indeed  nature  exists  only  through  it : 


192  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  bk.  ii. 

€i  yap  fir)  i)v  to  veucos  ev  Tot?  irpayiiacnv,  ev  av  rjv  diravra, 
a>?  <t>rjaiv  Efnre&otcXr)?  (nam  si  non  inesset  in  rebus  con- 
tentio,  unum  omnia  essent,  ut  ait  Empedocles.  Aria. 
Metaph.,  B.  5).  Yet  this  strife  itself  is  only  the  revela- 
tion of  that  variance  with  itself  which  is  essential  to  the 
will.  This  universal  conflict  becomes  most  distinctly 
visible  in  the  animal  kingdom.  For  animals  have  the 
whole  of  the  vegetable  kingdom  for  their  food,  and  even 
within  the  animal  kingdom  every  beast  is  the  prey  and 
the  food  of  another ;  that  is,  the  matter  in  which  its  Idea 
expresses  itself  must  yield  itself  to  the  expression  of 
another  Idea,  for  each  animal  can  only  maintain  its  exist- 
ence by  the  constant  destruction  of  some  other.  Thus 
the  will  to  live  everywhere  preys  upon  itself,  and  in  dif- 
ferent forms  is  its  own  nourishment,  till  finally  the  human 
race,  because  it  subdues  all  the  others,  regards  nature  as 
a  manufactory  for  its  use.  Yet  even  the  human  race,  as 
we  shall  see  in  the  Fourth  Book,  reveals  in  itself  with 
most  terrible  distinctness  this  conflict,  this  variance  with 
itself  of  the  will,  and  we  find  homo  homini  hvpus.  Mean- 
while we  can  recognise  this  strife,  this  subjugation,  just 
as  well  in  the  lower  grades  of  the  objectification  of  will. 
Many  insects  (especially  ichneumon-flies)  lay  their  eggs 
on  the  skin,  and  even  in  the  body  of  the  larvae  of  other 
insects,  whose  slow  destruction  is  the  first  work  of  the 
newly  hatched  brood.  The  young  hydra,  which  grows 
like  a  bud  out  of  the  old  one,  and  afterwards  separates 
itself  from  it,  fights  while  it  is  still  joined  to  the  old  one 
for  the  prey  that  offers  itself,  so  that  the  one  snatches 
it  out  of  the  mouth  of  the  other  (Trembley,  Polypod.,  ii 
p.  no,  and  iii.  p.  165).  But  the  bulldog-ant  of  Aus- 
tralia affords  us  the  most  extraordinary  example  of  this 
kind ;  for  if  it  is  cut  in  two,  a  battle  begins  between  the 
head  and  the  tail.  The  head  seizes  the  tail  with  its  teeth, 
and  the  tail  defends  itself  bravely  by  stinging  the  head : 
the  battle  may  last  for  half  an  hour,  until  they  die  or  are 
dragged  away  by  other  ants.     This  contest  takes  place 


THE  OBJECTIFICATION  OF  THE  WILL.  193 

every  time  the  experiment  is  tried.  (From  a  letter  by 
Howitt  in  the  W.  Journal,  reprinted  in  Galignani's  Mes- 
senger, 17th  November  1855.)  On  the  banks  of  the 
Missouri  one  sometimes  sees  a  mighty  oak  the  stem  and 
branches  of  which  are  so  encircled,  fettered,  and  interlaced 
by  a  gigantic  wild  vine,  that  it  withers  as  if  choked.  The 
same  thing  shows  itself  in  the  lowest  grades ;  for  example, 
when  water  and  carbon  are  changed  into  vegetable  sap,  or 
vegetables  or  bread  into  blood  by  organic  assimilation; 
and  so  also  in  every  case  in  which  animal  secretion  takes 
place,  along  with  the  restriction  of  chemical  forces  to  a 
subordinate  mode  of  activity.  This  also  occurs  in  unor- 
ganised nature,  when,  for  example,  crystals  in  process  of 
formation  meet,  cross,  and  mutually  disturb  each  other  to 
such  an  extent  that  they  are  unable  to  assume  the  pure 
crystalline  form,  so  that  almost  every  cluster  of  crystals 
is  an  image  of  such  a  conflict  of  will  at  this  low  grade  of 
its  objectification ;  or  again,  when  a  magnet  forces  its 
magnetism  upon  iron,  in  order  to  express  its  Idea  in  it ; 
or  when  galvanism  overcomes  chemical  affinity,  decom- 
poses the  closest  combinations,  and  so  entirely  suspends 
the  laws  of  chemistry  that  the  acid  of  a  decomposed  salt 
at  the  negative  pole  must  pass  to  the  positive  pole  with- 
out combining  with  the  alkalies  through  which  it  goes 
on  its  way,  or  turning  red  the  litmus  paper  that  touches 
it.  On  a  large  scale  it  shows  itself  in  the  relation  between 
the  central  body  and  the  planet,  for  although  the  planet 
is  in  absolute  dependence,  yet  it  always  resists,  just  like 
the  chemical  forces  in  the  organism;  hence  arises  the 
constant  tension  between  centripetal  and  centrifugal  force, 
which  keeps  the  globe  in  motion,  and  is  itself  an  example 
of  that  universal  essential  conflict  of  the  manifestation  of 
will  which  we  are  considering.  For  as  every  body  must 
be  regarded  as  the  manifestation  of  a  will,  and  as  will 
necessarily  expresses  itself  as  a  struggle,  the  original  con- 
dition of  every  world  that  is  formed  into  a  globe  cannot 
be  rest,  but  motion,  a  striving  forward  in  boundless  space 
vol.  1.  N 


194 


THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  bk.  ii. 


without  rest  and  without  end.  Neither  the  law  of  inertia 
nor  that  of  causality  is  opposed  to  this:  for  as,  accord- 
in<*  to  the  former,  matter  as  such  is  alike  indifferent 
to  rest  and  motion,  its  original  condition  may  just  as 
well  be  the  one  as  the  other,  therefore  if  we  first  find 
it  in  motion,  we  have  just  as  little  right  to  assume 
that  this  was  preceded  by  a  condition  of  rest,  and  to 
inquire  into  the  cause  of  the  origin  of  the  motion,  as, 
conversely,  if  we  found  it  at  rest,  we  would  have  to 
assume  a  previous  motion  and  inquire  into  the  cause  of 
its  suspension.  It  is,  therefore,  not  needful  to  seek  for  a 
first  impulse  for  centrifugal  force,  for,  according  to  the 
hypothesis  of  Kant  and  Laplace,  it  is,  in  the  case  of  the 
planets,  the  residue  of  the  original  rotation  of  the  central 
body,  from  which  the  planets  have  separated  themselves 
as  it  contracted.  But  to  this  central  body  itself  motion 
is  essential ;  it  always  continues  its  rotation,  and  at  the 
same  time  rushes  forward  in  endless  space,  or  perhaps  circu- 
lates round  a  greater  central  body  invisible  to  us.  This 
view  entirely  agrees  with  the  conjecture  of  astronomers  that 
there  is  a  central  sun,  and  also  with  the  observed  advance 
of  our  whole  solar  system,  and  perhaps  of  the  whole 
stellar  system  to  which  our  sun  belongs.  From  this  we 
are  finally  led  to  assume  a  general  advance  of  fixed  stars, 
together  with  the  central  sun,  and  this  certainly  loses  all 
meaning  in  boundless  space  (for  motion  in  absolute  space 
cannot  be  distinguished  from  rest),  and  becomes,  as  is 
already  the  case  from  its  striving  and  aimless  flight,  an 
expression  of  that  nothingness,  that  failure  of  all  aim, 
which,  at  the  close  of  this  book,  we  shall  be  obliged  to 
recognise  in  the  striving  of  will  in  all  its  phenomena. 
Thus  boundless  space  and  endless  time  must  be  the  most 
universal  and  essential  forms  of  the  collective  phenomena 
of  will,  which  exist  for  the  expression  of  its  whole  being. 
Lastly,  we  can  recognise  that  conflict  which  we  are  con- 
sidering of  all  phenomena  of  will  against  each  other  in 
simple  matter  regarded  as  such  ;  for  the  real  character- 


THE  OBJECTIFICATION  OF  THE  WILL.         195 

istic  of  matter  is  correctly  expressed  by  Kant  as  repulsive 
and  attractive  force ;  so  that  even  crude  matter  has  its 
existence  only  in  the  strife  of  conflicting  forces.  If  we 
abstract  from  all  chemical  differences  in  matter,  or  go  so 
far  back  in  the  chain  of  causes  and  effects  that  as  yet 
there  is  no  chemical  difference,  there  remains  mere 
matter, — the  world  rounded  to  a  globe,  whose  life,  i.e., 
objectification  of  will,  is  now  constituted  by  the  conflict 
between  attractive  and  repulsive  forces,  the  former  as 
gravitation  pressing  from  all  sides  towards  the  centre, 
the  latter  as  impenetrability  always  opposing  the  former 
either  as  rigidity  or  elasticity ;  and  this  constant  pressure 
and  resistance  may  be  regarded  as  the  objectivity  of  will 
in  its  very  lowest  grade,  and  even  there  it  expresses  its 
character. 

Wg-,  should  see  the  will  express  itself  here  in  the 
lowest  grade  as  blind  striving,  an  obscure,  inarticulate 
impulse,  far  from  susceptible  of  being  directly  known. 
It  is  the  simplest  and  the  weakest  mode  of  its  objectifi- 
cation. But  it  appears  as  this  blind  and  unconscious 
striving  in  the  whole  of  unorganised  nature,  in  all  those 
original  forces  of  which  it  is  the  work  of  physics  and 
chemistry  to  discover  and  to  study  the  laws,  and  each  of 
which  manifests  itself  to  us  in  millions  of  phenomena 
which  are  exactly  similar  and  regular,  and  show  no 
trace  of  individual  character,  but  are  mere  multiplicity 
through  space  and  time,  i.e.,  through  the  principium  indi- 
viduationis,  as  a  picture  is  multiplied  through  the  facets  of 
a  glass. 

From  grade  to  grade  objectifying  itself  more  distinctly, 
yet  still  completely  without  consciousness  as  an  obscure 
striving  force,  the  will  acts  in  the  vegetable  kingdom 
also,  in  which  the  bond  of  its  phenomena  consists  no 
longer  properly  of  causes,  but  of  stimuli ;  and,  finally, 
also  in  the  vegetative  part  of  the  animal  phenomenon,  in 
the  production  and  maturing  of  the  animal,  and  in  sus- 
taining its  inner  economy,  in  which  the  manifestation  of 


196  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  bk.  II. 

will  is  still  always  necessarily  determined  by  stimuli. 
The  ever-ascending  grades  of  the  objectification  of  will 
bring  us  at  last  to  the  point  at  which  the  individual  that 
expresses  the  Idea  could  no  longer  receive  food  for  its 
assimilation  through  mere  movement  following  upon 
stimuli  For  such  a  stimulus  must  be  waited  for,  but 
the  food  has  now  come  to  be  of  a  more  special  and  definite 
kind,  and  with  the  ever-increasing  multiplicity  of  the 
individual  phenomena,  the  crowd  and  confusion  has  be- 
come so  great  that  they  interfere  with  each  other,  and 
the  chance  of  the  individual  that  is  moved  merely  by 
stimuli  and  must  wait  for  its  food  would  be  too  un- 
favourable. JExom  the  point,  therefore,  at  which  the 
animal  has  delivered  itself  from  the  egg  or  the  womb  in 
which  it  vegetated  without  consciousness,  its  food  must 
be  sought  out  and  selected  For  this  purpose  movement 
following  upon  motives,  and  therefore  consciousness,  be- 
comes necessary,  and  consequently  it  appears  as  an  agent* 
firiXavT),  called  in  at  this  stage  of  the  objectification  of  will 
for  the  conservation  of  the  individual  and  the  propagation 
of  the  species.  It  appears  represented  by  the  brain  or  a 
large  ganglion,  just  as  every  other  effort  or  determination 
of  the  will  which  objectifies  itself  is  represented  by  an  |j 
organ,  that  is  to  say,  manifests  itself  for  the  idea  as  an  jj 
orgam*  But  with  this  means  of  assistance,  this  /Mrrxavrf, 
ttie  world  as  idea  comes  into  existence  at  a  stroke,  with 
gill  its  forms,  object  and  subject,  time,  space,  multiplicity, 
and  causality.  The  world  now  shows  its  second  side. 
Till  now  mere  will,  it  becomes  also  idea,  object  of  the 
knowing  subject  The  will,  which  up  to  this  point 
followed  its  tendency  in  the  dark  with  unerring  certainty, 
has  at  this  grade  kindled  for  itself  a  light  as  a  means 
which  became  necessary  for  getting  rid  of  the  disad-j 
vantage  which  arose  from  the  throng  and  the  complicated  I 

1  Of.  Chap.  xxii.  of  the  Supplement,  46  et  teq.t  and   pp.   63-72  of  th«  1 

and  also  my  work  "Ueber  den  Willen  second,   or   p.    48   et  seq.,  and  pp.  | 

in  der  Natur,"   p.  54  et  teq.,  and  69-77  of  the  third  edition. 
pp.  70-79  of  the  first  edition,  or  p. 


THE  OBJECTIFICATION  OF  THE  WILL.         197 

nature  of  its  manifestations,  and  which  would  have 
accrued  precisely  to  the  most  perfect  of  them.  The 
hitherto  infallible  certainty  and  regularity  with  which 
it  worked  in  unorganised  and  merely  vegetative  nature, 
rested  upon  the  fact  that  it  alone  was  active  in  its 
original  nature,  as  blind  impulse,  will,  without  assistance, 
and  also  without  interruption,  from  a  second  and  entirely 
different  world,  the  world  as  idea,  which  is  indeed  only  the 
image  of  its  own  inner  being,  but  is  yet  of  quite  another 
nature,  and  now  encroaches  on  the  connected  whole  of  its 
phenomena.  Hence  its  infallible  certainty  comes  to  an 
end.  Animals  are  already  exposed  to  illusion,  to  deception. 
They  have,  however,  merely  ideas  of  perception,  no  con- 
ceptions, no  reflection,  and  they  are  therefore  bound  to 
the  present;  they  cannot  have  regard  for  the  future.  It 
seems  as  if  this  knowledge  without  reason  was  not  in  all 
cases  sufficient  for  its  end,  and  at  times  required,  as  it  were, 
some  assistance.  For  the  very  remarkable  phenomenon 
presents  itself,  that  the  blind  working  of  the  will  and  the 
activity  enlightened  by  knowledge  encroach  in  a  most 
astonishing  manner  upon  each  other's  spheres  in  two  kinds 
of  phenomena.  In  the  one  case  we  find  in  the  very  midst 
of  those  actions  of  animals  which  are  guided  by  per- 
ceptive knowledge  and  its  motives  one  kind  of  action 
which  is  accomplished  apart  from  these,  and  thus  through 
the  necessity  of  the  blindly  acting  will.  I  refer  to  those 
mechanical  instincts  which  are  guided  by  no  motive  or 
knowledge,  and  which  yet  have  the  appearance  of  per- 
forming their  work  from  abstract  rational  motives.  The 
other  case,  which  is  opposed  to  this,  is  that  in  which,  on 
the  contrary,  the  light  of  knowledge  penetrates  into  the 
workshop  of  the  blindly  active  will,  and  illuminates  the 
vegetative  functions  of  the  human  organism.  I  mean 
clairvoyance.  Finally,  when  the  will  has  attained  to  the 
highest  grade  of  its  objectification,  that  knowledge  of  the 
understanding  given  to  brutes  to  which  the  senses  supply 
the  data,  out  of  which  there  arises  mere  perception  con- 


198  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  bk.  il 

fined  to  what  is  immediately  present,  does  not  suffice. 
That  complicated,  many-sided,  imaginative  being,  man, 
with  his  many  needs,  and  exposed  as  he  is  to  innumerable 
dangers,  must,  in  order  to  exist,  be  lighted  by  a  double 
knowledge ;  a  higher  power,  as  it  were,  of  perceptive 
knowledge  must  be  given  him,  and  also  reason,  as  the 
faculty  of  framing  abstract  conceptions.  With  this  there 
has  appeared  reflection,  surveying  the  future  and  the  past, 
and,  as  a  consequence,  deliberation,  care,  the  power  of 
premeditated  action  independent  of  the  present,  and 
finally,  the  full  and  distinct  consciousness  of  one's  own 
deliberate  volition  as  such.  Now  if  with  mere  know- 
ledge of  perception  there  arose  the  possibility  of  illusion 
and  deception,  by  which  the  previous  infallibility  of  the 
blind  striving  of  will  was  done  away  with,  so  that  mecha- 
nical and  other  instincts,  as  expressions  of  unconscious 
will,  had  to  lend  their  help  in  the  midst  of  those  that 
were  conscious,  with  the  entrance  of  reason  that  cer- 
tainty and  infallibility  of  the  expressions  of  will  (which 
at  the  other  extreme  in  unorganised  nature  appeared  as 
strict  conformity  to  law)  is  almost  entirely  lost ;  instinct 
disappears  altogether ;  deliberation,  which  is  supposed  to 
take  the  place  of  everything  else,  begets  (as  was  shown 
in  the  First  Book)  irresolution  and  uncertainty ;  then 
error  becomes  possible,  and  in  many  cases  obstructs  the 
adequate  objectification  of  the  will  in  action.  For  although 
in  the  character  the  will  has  already  taken  its  definite 
and  unchangeable  bent  or  direction,  in  accordance  with 
which  volition,  when  occasioned  by  the  presence  of  a  motive, 
invariably  takes  place,  yet  error  can  falsify  its  expressions, 
for  it  introduces  illusive  motives  that  take  the  place  of 
the  real  ones  which  they  resemble ; *  as,  for  example, 
when  superstition  forces  on  a  man  imaginary  motives 
which  impel  him  to  a  course  of  action  directly  opposed 


1  The  Scholastics  therefore  said    dum  e$sc  cor/nitum.   Cf.  Suarez,  Disp. 
very  truly  :  Causa  finalit  movet  non    Metaph.  disp.  xxiii.,  sea  7  and  8. 
icamdum  suum  esse  reaXt,  $ed  secun- 


THE  OBJECTIFICATION  OF  THE  WILL.  199 

to  the  way  in  which  the  will  would  otherwise  express 
itself  in  the  given  circumstances.  Agamemnon  slays  his 
daughter ;  a  miser  dispenses  alms,  out  of  pure  egotism,  in 
the  hope  that  he  will  some  day  receive  an  hundred-fold ; 
and  so  on. 

Thus  knowledge  generally,  rational  as  well  as  merely 
sensuous,  proceeds  originally  from  the  will  itself,  belongs 
to  the  inner  being  of  the  higher  grades  of  its  objectifica- 
tion  as  a  mere  iiri^avq,  a  means  of  supporting  the  indivi- 
dual and  the  species,  just  like  any  organ  of  the  body. 
Originally  destined  for  the  service  of  the  will  for  the 
accomplishment  of  its  aims,  it  remains  almost  throughout 
entirely  subjected  to  its  service :  it  is  so  in  all  brutes  and 
in  almost  all  men.  Yet  we  shall  see  in  the  Third  Book 
how  in  certain  individual  men  knowledge  can  deliver 
itself  from  this  bondage,  throw  off  its  yoke,  and,  free  from 
all  the  aims  of  will,  exist  purely  for  itself,  simply  as  a 
clear  mirror  of  the  world,  which  is  the  source  of  art. 
Finally,  in  the  Fourth  Book,  we  shall  see  how,  if  this 
kind  of  knowledge  reacts  on  the  will,  it  can  bring  about 
self-surrender,  i.e.,  resignation,  which  is  the  final  goal,  and 
indeed  the  inmost  nature  of  all  virtue  and  holiness,  and 
is  deliverance  from  the  world. 

§  28.  We  have  considered  the  great  multiplicity  and 
diversity  of  the  phenomena  in  which  the  will  objectifies 
itself,  and  we  have  seen  their  endless  and  implacable 
strife  with  each  other.  Yet,  according  to  the  whole  dis- 
cussion up  to  this  point,  the  will  itself,  as  thing-in-itself, 
is  by  no  means  included  in  that  multiplicity  and  change. 
The  diversity  of  the  (Platonic)  Ideas,  i.e.,  grades  of 
objectification,  the  multitude  of  individuals  in  which 
each  of  these  expresses  itself,  the  struggle  of  forms  for 
matter, — all  this  does  not  concern  it,  but  is  only  the 
manner  of  its  objectification,  and  only  through  this  has 
an  indirect  relation  to  it,  by  virtue  of  which  it  belongs 
to  the  expression  of  the  nature  of  will  for  the  idea.  ^As 
the  magic-lantern  shows  many  different  pictures,  which 


200  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  bk.  ii. 

are  all  made  visible  by  one  and  the  same  light,  so  in 
all  the  multifarious  phenomena  which  fill  the  world  toge- 
ther or  throng  after  each  other  as  events,  only  one  ivill 
manifests  itself,  of  which  everything  is  the  visibility,  the 
objectivity,  and  which  remains  unmoved  in  the  midst  of 
this  change;  it  alone  is  thing-in-itself ;  all  objects  are 
manifestations,  or,  to  speak  the  language  of  Kant,  pheno- 
mena. Although  in  man,  as  (Platonic)  Idea,  the  will 
finds  its  clearest  and  fullest  objectification,  yet  man 
alone  could  not  express  its  being.  In  order  to  manifest 
the  full  significance  of  the  will,  the  Idea  of  man  would 
need  to  appear,  not  alone  and  sundered  from  everything 
else,  but  accompanied  by  the  whole  series  of  grades, 
down  through  all  the  forms  of  animals,  through  the 
vegetable  kingdom  to  unorganised  nature.  All  these 
supplement  each  other  in  the  complete  objectification  of 
will ;  they  are  as  much  presupposed  by  the  Idea  of  man 
as  the  blossoms  of  a  tree  presuppose  leaves,  branches, 
stem,  and  root;  they  form  a  pyramid,  of  which  man  is 
the  apex.  If  fond  of  similes,  one  might  also  say  that 
their  manifestations  accompany  that  of  man  as  neces- 
sarily as  the  full  daylight  is  accompanied  by  all  the 
gradations  of  twilight,  through  which,  little  by  little,  it 
loses  itself  in  darkness ;  or  one  might  call  them  the  echo 
of  man,  and  say :  Animal  and  plant  are  the  descending 
fifth  and  third  of  man,  the  inorganic  kingdom  is  the  lower 
octave.  The  full  truth  of  this  last  comparison  will  only 
become  clear  to  us  when,  in  the  following  book,  we 
attempt  to  fathom  the  deep  significance  of  music,  and  see 
how  a  connected,  progressive  melody,  made  up  of  high, 
quick  notes,  may  be  regarded  as  in  some  sense  express- 
ing the  life  and  efforts  of  man  connected  by  reflection, 
while  the  unconnected  complemental  notes  and  the  slow 
bass,  which  make  up  the  harmony  necessary  to  perfect 
the  music,  represent  the  rest  of  the  animal  kingdom  and 
the  whole  of  nature  that  is  without  knowledge.  But  of 
this  in  its  own  place,  where  it  will  not  sound  so  para- 


THE  OBJECTIFICATION  OF  THE  WILL.         201 

doxical.  We  find,  however,  that  the  inner  necessity  of 
the  gradation  of  its  manifestations,  which  is  inseparable 
from  the  adequate  objectification  of  the  will,  is  expressed 
by  an  outer  necessity  in  the  whole  of  these  manifestations 
themselves,  by  reason  of  which  man  has  need  of  the 
beasts  for  his  support,  the  beasts  in  their  grades  have 
need  of  each  other  as  well  as  of  plants,  which  in  their 
turn  require  the  ground,  water,  chemical  elements  and 
their  combinations,  the  planet,  the  sun,  rotation  and 
motion  round  the  sun,  the  curve  of  the  ellipse,  &c,  &c. 
At  bottom  this  results  from  the  fact  that  the  will  must 
live  on  itself,  for  there  exists  nothing  beside  it,  and  it  is 
a  hungry  wilL  Hence  arise  eager  pursuit,  anxiety,  and 
suffering. 

It  is  only  the  knowledge  of  the  unity  of  will  as 
thing-in-itself,  in  the  endless  diversity  and  multiplicity 
of  the  phenomena,  that  can  afford  us  the  true  explana- 
tion of  that  wonderful,  unmistakable  analogy  of  all  the 
productions  of  nature,  that  family  likeness  on  account  of 
which  we  may  regard  them  as  variations  on  the  same 
ungiven  theme.  So  in  like  measure,  through  the  distinct 
and  thoroughly  comprehended  knowledge  of  that  har- 
mony, that  essential  connection  of  all  the  parts  of  the 
world,  that  necessity  of  their  gradation  which  we  have 
just  been  considering,  we  shall  obtain  a  true  and  suffi- 
cient insight  into  the  inner  nature  and  meaning  of  the 
undeniable  teleology  of  all  organised  productions  of  nature, 
which,  indeed,  we  presupposed  a  priori,  when  consider- 
ing and  investigating  them. 

.Ihis,  teleology  is  of  a  twofold  description ;  sometimes 
an  inner  teleology,  that  is,  an  agreement  of  all  the  parts 
of  a  particular  organism,  so  ordered  that  the  sustenance 
of  the  individual  and  the  species  results  from  it,  and 
therefore  presents  itself  as  the  end  of  that  disposition  or 
arrangement.  Sometimes,  however,  there  is  an  outward 
teleology,  a  relation  of  unorganised  to  organised  nature  in 
general,  or  of  particular  parts  of  organised  nature  to  each 


202  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  bk.  ii. 

other,  which  makes  the  maintenance  of  the  whole  of 
organised  nature,  or  of  the  particular  animal  species, 
possible,  and  therefore  presents  itself  to  our  judgment  as 
the  means  to  this  £ncj. 

Inner  teleology  is  connected  with  the  scheme  of  our 
work  in  the  following  way.  If,  in  accordance  with  what 
has  been  said,  all  variations  of  form  in  nature,  and  all 
multiplicity  of  individuals,  belong  not  to  the  will  itself, 
but  merely  to  its  objectivity  and  the  form  of  this  objec- 
tivity, it  necessarily  follows  that  the  will  is  indivisible 
and  is  present  as  a  whole  in  every  manifestation,  although 
the  grades  of  its  objectification,  the  (Platonic)  Ideas,  are 
very  different  from  each  other.  We  may,  for  the  sake  of 
simplicity,  regard  these  different  Ideas  as  in  themselves 
individual  and  simple  acts  of  the  will,  in  which  it  ex- 
presses its  nature  more  or  less.  Individuals,  however,  are 
again  manifestations  of  the  Ideas,  thus  of  these  acts,  in 
time,  space,  and  multiplicity.  Now,  in  the  lowest  grades 
of  objectivity,  such  an  act  (or  an  Idea)  retains  its  unity 
in  the  manifestation ;  while,  in  order  to  appear  in  higher 
grades,  it  requires  a  whole  series  of  conditions  and  de- 
velopments in  time,  which  only  collectively  express  its 
nature  completely.  Thus,  for  example  the  Idea  that 
reveals  itself  in  any  general  force  of  nature  has  always 
one  single  expression,  although  it  presents  itself  differently 
according  to  the  external  relations  that  are  present: 
otherwise  its  identity  could  not  be  proved,  for  this  is 
done  by  abstracting  the  diversity  that  arises  merely  from 
external  relations.  In  the  same  way  the  crystal  has  only 
one  manifestation  of  life,  crystallisation,  which  afterwards 
has  its  fully  adequate  and  exhaustive  expression  in  the 
rigid  form,  the  corpse  of  that  momentary  life.  The  plant, 
however,  does  not  express  the  Idea,  whose  phenomenon 
it  is,  at  once  and  through  a  single  manifestation,  but  in  a 
succession  of  developments  of  its  organs  in  time.  The 
animal  not  only  develops  its  organism  in  the  same  manner, 
in  a  succession  of  forms  which  are  often  very  different 


THE  0BJECTIFICAT10N  OF  THE  WILL.         203 

(metamorphosis),  but  this  form  itself,  although  it  is  al- 
ready objectivity  of  will  at  this  grade,  does  not  attain  to 
a  full  expression  of  its  Idea.  This  expression  must  be 
completed  through  the  actions  of  the  animal,  in  which 
its  empirical  character,  common  to  the  whole  species, 
manifests  itself,  and  only  then  does  it  become  the  full 
revelation  of  the  Idea,  a  revelation  which  presupposes 
the  particular  organism  as  its  first  condition.  In  the  case 
of  man,  the  empirical  character  is  peculiar  to  every  indivi- 
dual (indeed,  as  we  shall  see  in  the  Fourth  Book,  even  to 
the  extent  of  supplanting  entirely  the  character  of  the 
species,  through  the  self-surrender  of  the  whole  will). 
That  which  is  known  as  the  empirical  character,  through 
the  necessary  development  in  time,  and  the  division  into 
particular  actions  that  is  conditioned  by  it,  is,  when  we 
abstract  from  this  temporal  form  of  the  manifestation  the 
intelligible  character,  according  to  the  expression  of  Kant, 
who  shows  his  undying  merit  especially  in  establishing 
this  distinction  and  explaining  the  relation  between 
freedom  and  necessity,  i.e.,  between  the  will  as  thing- 
in-itself  and  its  manifestations  in  time.1  Thus  the 
intelligible  character  coincides  with  the  Idea,  or,  more 
accurately,  with  the  original  act  of  will  which  reveals 
itself  in  it.  So  far  then,  not  only  the  empirical 
character  of  every  man,  but  also  that  of  every  species 
of  animal  and  plant,  and  even  of  every  original  force 
of  unorganised  nature,  is  to  be  regarded  as  the  mani- 
festation of  an  intelligible  character,  that  is,  of  a  time- 
less, indivisible  act  of  will.  I  should  like  here  to  draw 
attention  in  passing  to  the  naivete*  with  which  every 
plant  expresses  and  lays  open  its  whole  character  in  its 
mere  form,  reveals  its  whole  being  and  will.     This  is 


1  Cf.  "Critique  of  Pure  Reason,  tique  of  Practical  Reason,"  fourth 

Solution  of  the  Cosmological  Ideas  edition,  pp.  169-179;  Rosenkranz' 

of  the  Totality  of  the  Deduction  of  edition,  p.  224  and  following.     Cf. 

the  Events  in  the  Universe,"  pp.  my  Essay  on  the  Principle  of  Sum- 

560-586  of  the  fifth,  and  p.  532  and  oient  Reason,  §  43. 
following  of  first  edition;  and  "Cri- 


204  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  bk.  ii. 

why  the  physiognomy  of  plants  is  so  interesting ;  while 
in  order  to  know  an  animal  in  its  Idea,  it  is  necessary 
to  observe  the  course  of  its  action.  As  for  man,  he 
must  be  fully  investigated  and  tested,  for  reason  makes 
him  capable  of  a  high  degree  of  dissimulation.  The 
beast  is  as  much  more  naive  than  the  man  as  the  plant 
is  more  naive  than  the  beast.  In  the  beast  we  see  the 
will  to  live  more  naked,  as  it  were,  than  in  the  man,  in 
whom  it  is  clothed  with  so  much  knowledge,  and  is, 
moreover,  so  veiled  through  the  capacity  for  dissimula- 
tion, that  it  is  almost  only  by  chance,  and  here  and 
there,  that  its  true  nature  becomes  apparent.  In  the 
plant  it  shows  itself  quite  naked,  but  also  much  weaker, 
as  mere  blind  striving  for  existence  without  end  or 
aim.  For  the  plant  reveals  its  whole  being  at  the  first 
glance,  and  with  complete  innocence,  which  does  not 
suffer  from  the  fact  that  it  carries  its  organs  of  genera- 
tion exposed  to  view  on  its  upper  surface,  though  in  all 
animals  they  have  been  assigned  to  the  most  hidden 
part.  This  innocence  of  the  plant  results  from  its  com- 
plete want  of  knowledge.  Guilt  does  not  lie  in  willing, 
out  in  willing  with  knowledge.  Every  plant  speaks  to 
us  first  of  all  of  its  home,  of  the  climate,  and  the  nature 
of  the  ground  in  which  it  has  grown.  Therefore,  even 
those  who  have  had  little  practice  easily  tell  whether 
an  exotic  plant  belongs  to  the  tropical  or  the  temperate 
zone,  and  whether  it  grows  in  water,  in  marshes,  on 
mountain,  or  on  moorland.  Besides  this,  however,  every 
plant  expresses  the  special  will  of  its  species,  and  says 
something  that  cannot  be  uttered  in  any  other  tongue. 
But  we  must  now  apply  what  has  been  said  to  the 
teleological  consideration  of  the  organism,  so  far  as  it 
concerns  its  inner  design.  If  in  unorganised  nature 
the  Idea,  which  is  everywhere  to  be  regarded  as  a  single 
act  of  will,  reveals  itself  also  in  a  single  manifestation 
which  is  always  the  same,  and  thus  one  may  say  that 
here   the   empirical   character  directly   partakes   of  the 


THE  OBJECTIFICATION  OF  THE  WILL.         205 

unity  of  the  intelligible,  coincides,  as  it  were,  with  it,  so 
that  no  inner  design  can  show  itself  here ;  if,  on  the 
contrary,  all  organisms  express  their  Ideas  through  a 
series    of    successive    developments,    conditioned    by    a 
multiplicity    of   co-existing    parts,   and    thus    only    the 
sum  of  the   manifestations  of  the  empirical  character 
collectively    constitute    the    expression    of    the    intelli- 
gible   character  ;     this    necessary    co-existence    of   the 
parts    and    succession    of   the    stages    of    development 
does  not  destroy  the  unity  of  the  appearing  Idea,  the 
act    of  will  which  expresses    itself;    nay,   rather    this 
unity    finds    its   expression    in    the    necessary   relation 
and  connection  of  the  parts  and  stages  of  development 
with  each  other,  in  accordance  with  the  law  of  causality. 
Since  it  is  the  will  which  is  one,  indivisible,  and  there- 
fore entirely  in  harmony  with  itself,  that  reveals  itself 
in  the  whole  Idea  as  in  act,  its  manifestation,  although 
broken  up  into  a  number  of  different  parts  and  condi- 
tions, must  yet  show  this  unity  again  in   the  thorough 
agreement  of  all  of  these.    This  is  effected  by  a  necessary 
relation  and  dependence  of  all  the  parts  upon  each  other, 
by  means  of  which  the  unity  of  the  Idea  is  re-established 
in  the  manifestation.     In  accordance  with  this,  we  now 
recognise    these    different    parts    and    functions    of    the 
organism  as  related  to  each  other  reciprocally  as  means 
and  end,  but  the  organism  itself  as  the  final  end  of  all. 
Consequently,  neither  the  breaking  up  of  the  Idea,  which 
in  itself  is  simple,  into  the  multiplicity  of  the  parts  and 
conditions  of  the  organism,  on  the  one  hand,  nor,  on  the 
other  hand,  the  re-establishment  of  its  unity  through  the 
necessary  connection  of  the  parts  and  functions  which 
arises  from  the  fact  that  they  are  the  cause  and  effect,  the 
means  and  end,  of  each  other,  is  peculiar  and  essential 
to  the  appearing  will  as  such,  to  the  thing-in-itself,  but 
only   to  its  manifestation  in  space,  time,  and  casuality 
(mere  modes  of  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason,  the 
form  of  the  phenomenon).     They  belong  to  the  world  as 


2o6  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  bk.  ii 

idea,  not  to  the  world  as  will;  they  belong  to  the  way 
in  which  the  will  becomes  object,  i.e.,  idea  at  this  grade 
of  its  objectivity.    Every  one  who  has  grasped  the  mean- 
ing of  this  discussion — a  discussion   which   is   perhaps 
somewhat  difficult— will  now  fully  understand  the  doctrine 
of  Kant,  which  follows  from  it,  that  both  the  design  of 
organised  and   the  conformity    to    law    of   unorganised 
nature  are  only  introduced  by  our  understanding,  and 
therefore  both  belong  only  to  the  phenomenon,  not  to  the 
thing-in-itself.     The    surprise,    which    was    referred    to 
above,  at  the  infallible  constancy  of  the  conformity  to 
law  of  unorganised  nature,  is  essentially  the  same  as  the 
surprise  that  is  excited  by  design  in  organised  nature ; 
for  in  both  cases  what  we  wonder  at  is  only  the  sight  of 
the  original  unity  of  the  Idea,  which,  for  the  phenome- 
non, has  assumed  the  form  of  multiplicity  and  diversity.1 
As  regards  the  second  kind  of  teleology,  according  to 
the  division  made   above,  the  outer  design,  which   shows 
itself,  not  in  the  inner  economy  of  the  organisms,  but  in 
the  support  and  assistance  they  receive  from  without, 
both  from  unorganised  nature  and  from  each  other;  its 
general  explanation  is  to  be  found  in  the  exposition  we 
have  just  given.     For  the  whole  world,  with  all  its  phe- 
nomena, is  the  objectivity  of  the  one  indivisible  will,  the 
Idea,  which   is  related  to  all  other  Ideas  as  harmony  is 
related  to  the  single  voice.      Therefore  that  unity  of  the 
will  must  show  itself  also  in  the  agreement  of  all  its 
manifestations.     But   we   can   very   much   increase  the 
clearness  of  this  insight  if  we  go  somewhat  more  closely 
into  the  manifestations  of  that  outer  teleology  and  agree- 
ment of  the  different  parts  of  nature  with  each  other,  an 
inquiry  which  will  also  throw  some  light  on  the  foregoing 
exposition.     We  shall  best  attain  this  end  by  consider- 
ing the  following  analogy. 

The  character  of  each  individual  man,  so  far  as  it  is 

«  Cf.  "Ueber  den  Willen  in  der  Natur,"  at  the  end  of  the  section  on 
Comparative  Anatomy. 


THE  OBJECTIFICATION  OF  THE  WILL.         707 

thoroughly  individual,  and  not  entirely  included  in  that 
of  the  species,  may  be  regarded  as  a  special  Idea,  corre- 
sponding to  a  special  act  of  the  objectification  of  will. 
This  act  itself  would  then  be  his  intelligible  character, 
and  his  empirical  character  would  be  the  manifestation  of 
it.    The  empirical  character  is  entirely  determined  through 
the  intelligible,  which  is  without  ground,  i.e.,  as  thing-in- 
itself  is   not  subordinated  to  the  principle  of  sufficient 
reason  (the  form  of  the  phenomenon).    The  empirical  char- 
acter must  in  the  course  of  life  afford  us  the  express  image 
of  the  intelligible,  and  can  only  become  what  the  nature  of 
the  latter  demands.     But  this  property  extends  only  to  the 
essential,  not  to  the  unessential  in  the  course  of  life  to 
which  it  applies.     To  this  unessential  belong   the  de- 
tailed events  and  actions  which  are  the  material  in  which 
the  empirical  character  shows  itself.     These  are  deter- 
mined   by    outward    circumstances,   which    present  the 
motives  upon  which  the  character  reacts  according  to  its 
nature ;  and  as  they  may  be  very  different,  the  outward 
form  of  the  manifestation  of  the  empirical  character,  that 
is,  the  definite  actual  or  historical  form  of  the  course  of 
life,  will  have  to  accommodate  itself  to  their  influence. 
Now  this  form  may  be  very  different,  although  what  is 
essential  to  the  manifestation,  its  content,  remains  the 
same.     Thus,  for  example  it  is  immaterial  whether  a  man 
plays  for  nuts  or  for  crowns ;  but  whether  a  man  cheats 
or  plays  fairly,  that  is  the  real  matter ;  the  latter  is  de- 
termined by  the  intelligible   character,  the    former  by 
outward    circumstances.     As   the    same  theme  may   be 
expressed  in  a  hundred  different  variations,  so  the  same 
character  may  be  expressed  in  a  hundred  very  different  lives. 
But  various  as  the  outward  influence  may  be,  the  empi- 
rical character  which  expresses  itself  in  the  course  of  life 
must  yet,  whatever  form  it  takes,   accurately   objectify 
the  intelligible  character,  for  the  latter  adapts  its  objec- 
tification to  the  given  material  of  actual  circumstances. 
We  have  now  to  assume  something   analogous  to  the 


2o8  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  bk.  ii. 

influence  of  outward  circumstances  upon  the  life  that  is 
determined  in  essential  matters  by  the  character,  if  we 
desire  to  understand  how  the  will,  in  the  original  act  of 
its  objectification,  determines  the  various  Ideas  in  which 
it  objectifies  itself,  that  is,  the  different  forms  of  natural 
existence  of  every  kind,  among  which  it  distributes  its 
objectification,  and  which  must  therefore  necessarily  have 
a  relation  to  each  other  in  the  manifestation.     We  must 
assume  that  between  all  these  manifestations  offlie  one 
will  there  existed  a  universal  and  reciprocal  adaptation 
and  accommodation  of  themselves  to  each  other,  by  which, 
however,   as   we  shall  soon   see  more  clearly,  all  time- 
determination  is  to  be  excluded,  for  the  Idea  lies  outside 
time.     In  accordance  with  this,  every  manifestation  must 
have  adapted  itself  to  the  surroundings  into  which  it  en- 
tered, and  these  again  must  have  adapted  themselves  to  it, 
although  it  occupied  a  much  later  position  in  time ;  and  we 
see  this  consensus  natures  everywhere.    Every  plant  is  there- 
fore adapted  to  its  soil  and  climate,  every  animal  to  its 
element  and  the  prey  that  will  be  its  food,  and  is  also  in 
some  way  protected,  to  a  certain  extent,  against  its  natural 
enemy ;  the  eye  is  adapted  to  the  light  and  its  refrangi- 
bility,  the  lungs  and  the  blood  to  the  air,  the  air-bladder 
of  fish  to  water,  the  eye  of  the  seal  to  the  change  of  the 
medium  in  which  it  must  see,  the  water-pouch  in  the 
stomach   of  the   camel  to  the   drought  of   the   African 
deserts,  the  sail  of  the  nautilus  to  the  wind  that  is  to 
drive  its  little  bark,  and  so  on  down  to  the  most  special 
and  astonishing  outward  adaptations.1    We  must  abstract 
however  here  from  all  temporal  relations,  for  these  can 
only  concern  the  manifestation  of  the  Idea,  not  the  Idea 
itself.     Accordingly  this  kind  of  explanation  must  also 
be  used  retrospectively,  and  we  must  not  merely  admit 
that  every  species  accommodated  itself  to  the  given  en- 
vironment, but  also  that  this  environment  itself,  which 
preceded  it  in  time,  had  just  as  much  regard  for  the  being 

1  Cf.  "Ueber  den  Willen  in  die  Natur,"  the  section  on  Comparative 
Anatomy. 


THE  OBJECTIFICATION  OF  THE  WILL.         209 

that  would  some  time  come  into  it.  For  it  is  one  and 
the  same  will  that  objectifies  itself  in  the  whole  world; 
it  knows  no  time,  for  this  form  of  the  principle  of  suffi- 
cient reason  does  not  belong  to  it,  nor  to  its  original 
objectivity,  the  Ideas,  but  only  to  the  way  in  which 
these  are  known  by  the  individuals  who  themselves  are 
transitory,  i.e.t  to  the  manifestation  of  the  Ideas.  Thus, 
time  has  no  significance  for  our  present  examination  of 
the  manner  in  which  the  objectification  of  the  will  dis- 
tributes itself  among  the  Ideas,  and  the  Ideas  whose 
manifestations  entered  into  the  course  of  time  earlier, 
according  to  the  law  of  causality,  to  which  as  phenomena 
they  are  subject,  have  no  advantage  over  those  whose 
manifestation  entered  later ;  nay  rather,  these  last  are  the 
completest  objectifications  of  the  will,  to  which  the  earlier 
manifestations  must  adapt  themselves  just  as  much  as 
they  must  adapt  themselves  to  the  earlier.  Thus  the 
course  of  the  planets,  the  tendency  to  the  ellipse,  the 
rotation  of  the  earth,  the  division  of  land  and  sea,  the 
atmosphere,  light,  warmth,  and  all  such  phenomena, 
which  are  in  nature  what  bass  is  in  harmony,  adapted 
themselves  in  anticipation  of  the  coming  species  of 
living  creatures  of  which  they  were  to  become  the 
supporter  and  sustainer.  In  the  same  way  the  ground 
adapted  itself  to  the  nutrition  of  plants,  plants  adapted 
themselves  to  the  nutrition  of  animals,  animals  to  that 
of  other  animals,  and  conversely  they  all  adapted  them- 
selves to  the  nutrition  of  the  ground.  All  the  parts  of 
nature  correspond  to  each  other,  for  it  is  one  will  that 
appears  in  them  all,  but  the  course  of  time  is  quite 
foreign  to  its  original  and  only  adequate  objectification 
(this  expression  will  be  explained  in  the  following  book), 
the  Ideas.  Even  now,  when  the  species  have  only  to 
sustain  themselves,  no  longer  to  come  into  existence,  we 
see  here  and  there  some  such  forethought  of  nature  ex- 
tending to  the  future,  and  abstracting  as  it  were  from 
the  process  of  time,  a  self- adaptation  of  what  is  to  what 
vol.  L  0 


210  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  bk.  il 

is  yet  to  come.  The  bird  builds  the  nest  for  the  young 
which  it  does  not  yet  know ;  the  beaver  constructs  a 
dam  the  object  of  which  is  unknown  to  it ;  ants,  mar- 
mots, and  bees  lay  in  provision  for  the  winter  they  have 
never  experienced ;  the  spider  and  the  ant-lion  make 
snares,  as  if  with  deliberate  cunning,  for  future  unknown 
prey  ;  insects  deposit  their  eggs  where  the  coming  brood 
finds  future  nourishment.  In  the  spring-time  the  female 
flower  of  the  dicecian  valisneria  unwinds  the  spirals  of  its 
stalk,  by  which  till  now  it  was  held  at  the  bottom  of  the 
water,  and  thus  rises  to  the  surface.  Just  then  the  male 
flower,  which  grows  on  a  short  stalk  from  the  bottom, 
breaks  away,  and  so,  at  the  sacrifice  of  its  life,  reaches 
the  surface,  where  it  swims  about  in  search  of  the  female. 
The  latter  is  fructified,  and  then  draws  itself  down  again 
to  the  bottom  by  contracting  its  spirals,  and  there  the 
fruit  grows.1  I  must  again  refer  here  to  the  larva  of  the 
male  stag-beetle,  which  makes  the  hole  in  the  wood  for 
its  metamorphosis  as  big  again  as  the  female  does,  in 
order  to  have  room  for  its  future  horns.  The  instinct  of 
animals  in  general  gives  us  the  best  illustration  of  what 
remains  of  teleology  in  nature.  For  as  instinct  is  an 
action,  like  that  which  is  guided  by  the  conception  of  an 
end,  and  yet  is  entirely  without  this ;  so  all  construction 
of  nature  resembles  that  which  is  guided  by  the  concep- 
tion of  an  end,  and  yet  is  entirely  without  it.  For  in 
the  outer  as  in  the  inner  teleology  of  nature,  what  we 
are  obliged  to  think  as  means  and  end  is,  in  every  case, 
the  manifestation  of  the  unity  of  the  one  will  so  thoroughly 
agreeing  with  itself,  which  has  assumed  multiplicity  in 
space  and  time  for  our  manner  of  knowing. 

The  reciprocal  adaptation  and  self-accommodation  of 
phenomena  that  springs  from  this  unity  cannot,  however, 
annul  the  inner  contradiction  which  appears  in  the 
universal  conflict  of  nature  described  above,  and  which 

1  Chatin,  Sur  la  Valisneria  Spiralis,  in  the  Oomptes  Rendus  de  l'Acad. 
de  Sc.,  No.  13,  1855. 


THE  OBJECTIFICATION  OF  THE  WILL.         211 

is  essential  to  the  will.  That  harmony  goes  only  so  fai 
as  to  render  possible  the  duration  of  the  world  and  the 
different  kinds  of  existences  in  it,  which  without  it 
would  long  since  have  perished.  Therefore  it  only  ex- 
tends to  the  continuance  of  the  species,  and  the  general 
conditions  of  life,  but  not  to  that  of  the  individual.  If, 
then,  by  reason  of  that  harmony  and  accommodation,  the 
species  in  organised  nature  and  the  universal  forces  in 
unorganised  nature  continue  to  exist  beside  each  other, 
and  indeed  support  each  other  reciprocally,  on  the  other 
hand,  the  inner  contradiction  of  the  will  which  objectifies 
itself  in  all  these  ideas  shows  itself  in  the  ceaseless  inter- 
necine war  of  the  individuals  of  these  species,  and  in  the 
constant  struggle  of  the  manifestations  of  these  natural  forces 
with  each  other,  as  we  pointed  out  above.  The  scene  and 
the  object  of  this  conflict  is  matter,  which  they  try  to  wrest 
from  each  other,  and  also  space  and  time,  the  combination 
of  which  through  the  form  of  causality  is,  in  fact,  matter, 
as  was  explained  in  the  First  Book.1 

§  29.  I  here  conclude  the  second  principal  division  of 
my  exposition,  in  the  hope  that,  so  far  as  is  possible  in 
the  case  of  an  entirely  new  thought,  which  cannot  be 
quite  free  from  traces  of  the  individuality  in  which  it 
originated,  I  have  succeeded  in  conveying  to  the  reader 
the  complete  certainty  that  this  world  in  which  we  live 
and  have  our  being  is  in  its  whole  nature  through  and 
through  will,  and  at  the  same  time  through  and  through 
idea :  that  this  idea,  as  such,  already  presupposes  a  form, 
object  and  subject,  is  therefore  relative;  and  if  we  ask 
what  remains  if  we  take  away  this  form,  and  all  those 
forms  which  are  subordinate  to  it,  and  which  express  the 
principle  of  sufficient  reason,  the  answer  must  be  that  as 
something  Mo  genere  different  from  idea,  this  can  be 
nothing  but  will,  which  is  thus  properly  the  thing-in- 
itself  Every  one  finds  that  he  himself  is  this  will,  in 
which  the  real  nature  of  the  world  consists,  and  he  also 

1  Cf.  Chaps.  xxvi.  and  xxvii.  of  the  Supplement. 


2I2  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  BK.  II. 

finds  that  he  is  the  knowing  subject,  whose  idea  the 
whole  world  is,  the  world  which  exists  only  in  relation 
to  his  consciousness,  as  its  necessary  supporter.  Every 
one  is  thus  himself  in  a  double  aspect  the  whole  world, 
the  microcosm;  finds  both  sides  whole  and  complete 
in  himself.  And  what  he  thus  recognises  as  his  own 
real  being  also  exhausts  the  being  of  the  whole  world— 
the  macrocosm ;  thus  the  world,  like  man,  is  through 
and  through  vrill,  and  through  and  through  idea,  and 
nothing  more  than  this.  So  we  see  the  philosophy  of 
Thales,  which  concerned  the  macrocosm,  unite  at  this 
point  with  that  of  Socrates,  which  dealt  with  the  micro- 
cosm, for  the  object  of  both  is  found  to  be  the  same.  But 
all  the  knowledge  that  has  been  communicated  in  the 
two  first  books  will  gain  greater  completeness,  and  con- 
sequently greater  certainty,  from  the  two  following  books, 
in  which  I  hope  that  several  questions  that  have  more 
or  less  distinctly  arisen  in  the  course  of  our  work  will 
also  be  sufficiently  answered. 

In  the  meantime  one  such  question  may  be  more  particu- 
larly considered,  for  it  can  only  properly  arise  so  long  as 
one  has  not  fully  penetrated  the  meaning  of  the  foregoing 
exposition,  and  may  so  far  serve  as  an  illustration  of  it 
It  is  this :  Every  will  is  a  will  towards  something,  has 
an  object,  an  end  of  its  willing ;  what  then  is  the  final 
end,  or  towards  what  is  that  will  striving  that  is  ex- 
hibited to  us  as  the  being-in-itself  of  the  world  ?  This 
question  rests,  like  so  many  others,  upon  the  confusion 
of  the  thing-in-itself  with  the  manifestation.  The  prin- 
ciple of  sufficient  reason,  of  which  the  law  of  motivation 
is  also  a  form,  extends  only  to  the  latter,  not  to  the 
former.  It  is  only  of  phenomena,  of  individual  things, 
that  a  ground  can  be  given,  never  of  the  will  itself,  nor 
of  the  Idea  in  which  it  adequately  objectifies  itself.  So 
then  of  every  particular  movement  or  change  of  any 
kind  in  nature,  a  cause  is  to  be  sought,  that  is,  a  condi- 
tion that  of   necessity   produced    it,   but  never  of  the 


THE  OBJECTIFICATION  OF  THE  WILL.         213 

natural  force  itself  which  is  revealed  in  this  and  in- 
numerable similar  phenomena ;  and  it  is  therefore  simple 
misunderstanding,  arising  from  want  of  consideration,  to 
ask  for  a  cause  of  gravity,  electricity,  and  so  on.  Only 
if  one  had  somehow  shown  that  gravity  and  electricity  were 
not  original  special  forces  of  nature,  but  only  the  mani- 
festations of  a  more  general  force  already  known,  would 
it  be  allowable  to  ask  for  the  cause  which  made  this  force 
produce  the  phenomena  of  gravity  or  of  electricity  here. 
All  this  has  been  explained  at  length  above.  In  the 
same  way  every  particular  act  of  will  of  a  knowing 
individual  (which  is  itself  only  a  manifestation  of  will  as 
the  thing-in-itself)  has  necessarily  a  motive  without  which 
that  act  would  never  have  occurred ;  but  just  as  material 
causes  contain  merely  the  determination  that  at  this  time, 
in  this  place,  and  in  this  matter,  a  manifestation  of  this  01 
that  natural  force  must  take  place,  so  the  motive  detery 
mines  only  the  act  of  will  of  a  knowing  being,  at  this 
time,  in  this  place,  and  under  these  circumstances,  as  a 
particular  act,  but  by  no  means  determines  that  that 
t>eing  wills  in  general  or  wills  in  this  manner;  this  is 
the  expression  of  his  intelligible  character,  which,  as  will 
itself,  the  thing-in-itself,  is  without  ground,  for  it  lies 
outside  the  province  of  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason. 
Therefore  every  man  has  permanent  aims  and  motivestry 
which  he  guides  his  conduct,  and  he  can  always  give  an 
account  of  his  particular  actions;  but  if  he  were  asked 
why  he  wills  at  all,  or  why  in  general  he  wills  to  exist, 
he  would  have  no  answer,  and  the  question  would  indeed 
seem  to  him  meaningless ;%  and  this  would  be  just  the  ex- 
pression of  his  consciousness  that  he  himself  is  nothing 
but  will,  whose  willing  stands  by  itself  and  requires  more 
particular  determination  by  motives  only  in  its  individual 
acts  at  each  point  of  time. 

In  fact,  freedom  from  all  aim,  from  all  limits,  belongs 
o  the  nature  of  the  will,  which  is  an  endless  striving. 
This  was  already  touched  on  above  in  the  reference  to 


Ho\ 


214  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  bk.  II. 

centrifugal  force.  It  also  discloses  itself  in  its  simplest 
form  in  the  lowest  grade  of  the  objectification  of  will,  in 
gravitation,  which  we  see  constantly  exerting  itself, 
though  a  final  goal  is  obviously  impossible  for  it.  For 
if,  according  to  its  will,  all  existing  matter  were  collected 
in  one  mass,  yet  within  this  mass  gravity,  ever  striving 
towards  the  centre,  would  still  wage  war  with  impene- 
trability as  rigidity  or  elasticity.  The  tendency  of 
matter  can  therefore  only  be  confined,  never  completed 
or  appeased.  But  this  is  precisely  the  case  with  all 
tendencies  of  all  phenomena  of  will.  Every  attained 
end  is  also  the  beginning  of  a  new  course,  and  so  on  ad 
infinitum.  The  plant  raises  its  manifestation  from  the 
seed  through  the  stem  and  the  leaf  to  the  blossom  and  the 
fruit,  which  again  is  the  beginning  of  a  new  seed,  a  new 
individual,  that  runs  through  the  old  course,  and  so  on 
through  endless  time.  Such  also  is  the  life  of  the 
animal ;  procreation  is  its  highest  point,  and  after  attain- 
ing to  it,  the  life  of  the  first  individual  quickly  or 
slowly  sinks,  while  a  new  life  ensures  to  nature  the 
endurance  of  the  species  and  repeats  the  same  pheno- 
mena. Indeed,  the  constant  renewal  of  the  matter  of 
every  organism  is  also  to  be  regarded  as  merely  the 
manifestation  of  this  continual  pressure  and  change,  and 
physiologists  are  now  ceasing  to  hold  that  it  is  the  neces- 
sary reparation  of  the  matter  wasted  in  motion,  for  the 
possible  wearing  out  of  the  machine  can  by  no  means 
be  equivalent  to  the  support  it  is  constantly  receiving 
through  nourishment.  .Eternal  becoming,  endless  flux*/ 
characterises  the  revelation  of  the  inner  nature  of  will 
Finally,  the  same  thing  shows  itself  in  human  endeavours 
and  desires,  which  always  delude  us  by  presenting  their 
v  satisfaction  as  the  final  end  of  will.  As  soon  as  we 
attain  to  them  they  no  longer  appear  the  same,  and 
therefore  they  soon  grow  stale,  are  forgotten,  and  though 
not  openly  disowned,  are  yet  always  thrown  aside  as 
vanished  illusions.     We  are  fortunate  enough  if  there 


THE  OBJECTIFICATION  OF  THE  WILL.         21 J 

still  remains  something  to  wish  for  and  to  strive  after, 
that  the  game  may  be  kept  up  of  constant  transition 
from  desire  to  satisfaction,  and  from  satisfaction  to  a 
new  desire,  the  rapid  course  of  which  is  called  happiness, 
and  the  slow  course  sorrow,  and  does  not  sink  into  that 
stagnation  that  shows  itself  in  fearful  ennui  that  paralyses 
life,  vain  yearning  without  a  definite  object,  deadening 
languor.  ^According  to  all  this,  when  the  will  is  en- 
lightened  by  knowledge,  it  always  knows  what  it  wilty^ 
now  and  here,  never  what  it  wills  in  general ;  every 
^particular  act  of  will  has  its  end,  the  whole  will  has 
none ;  just  as  every  particular  phenomenon  of  nature  is 
determined  by  a  sufficient  cause  so  far  as  concerns  its 
appearance  in  this  place  at  this  time,  but  the  force  which 
manifests  itself  in  it  has  no  general  cause,  for  it  belongs 
to  the  thing-in-itself,  to  the  groundless  will.  The  single 
example  of  self-knowledge  of  the  will  as  a  whole  is  the 
idea  as  a  whole,  the  whole  world  of  perception.  It  is 
the  objectification,  the  revelation,  the  mirror  of  the  will 
What  the  will  expresses  in  it  will  be  the  subject  of  oui 
further  consideration.1 

1  Of.  Chap,  xxviii.  of  the  Supplement. 


THE    WORLD    AS    IDEA. 


SECOND  ASPECT. 

THE   IDEA    INDEPENDENT    OP   THE    PRINCIPLE    OF    SUFFICIENT 
REASON  :   THE  PLATONIC  IDEA  :    THE  OBJECT  OF  ART. 


Tl  rb  6r  fikv  del,  yheaiv  <5e  oik  ?xov  \  Ka^  T^  T0  ytypouevov  p.h  ko) 
airoWvfxcvov,  dVrws  de  ovMttot€  6v. — IIAATOJJ 


(     219     ) 


in. 

§  30.  In  the  First  Book  the  world  was  explained  as 
v/inere  idea,  object  for  a  subject.     In  the  Second  Book  we 
considered  it  from  its  other  side,  and  found  that  in  this 
aspect  it  is  will,  which  proved  to  be  simply  that  which 
this  world  is  besides  being  idea.     In    accordance  with; 
this  knowledge  we  called  the  world  as  idea,  both  as  a 
whole  and  in  its  parts,  the  dbjectification  of  will,  which 
therefore    means    the    will    become    object,    i.e.,    idea. 
Further,  we  remember  that  this   objectification   of  will 
was  found  to  have  many  definite  grades,  in  which,  with 
gradually  increasing  distinctness  and  completeness,  the 
nature  of  will  appears  in  the  idea,  that  is  to  say,  presents 
itself  as  object.     In  these  grades  we  already  recognised 
the  Platonic  Ideas,  for  the  grades  are  just  the  determined 
species,  or  the  original  unchanging  forms  and  qualities  of 
all  natural  bodies,  both  organised  and  unorganised,  and 
also  the  general  forces  which  reveal  themselves  according 
to  natural  laws.     These  Ideas,  then,  as  a  whole  express 
themselves  in  innumerable  individuals   and  particulars, 
"and  are  related  to  these  as  archetypes  to  their  copies. 
The  multiplicity  of  such  individuals  is  only  conceivable 
through   time    and    space,  their  appearing  and  passing 
away  through  causality,  and  in  all  these  forms  we  recog- 
nise  merely   the  different  modes   of   thfi   piw-ip1*   nf 
sufficient  reason,  which  i«JJ2fl  n1t.ima.te  principle  of  all 
that  is  finite,  of  all  individual  existence,  and  the  univer- 
sal form  of  the  idea  as  it  appears  in  the  knowledge  of 
the  individual  as  such.     The  Platonic  Idea,  on  the  other 


220  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  bk.  HL 

y  hand,  does  not  come  under  this  principle,  and  has  there- 
fore neither  multiplicity  nor  change.  While  the  indi- 
viduals in  which  it  expresses  itself  are  innumerable,  and 
unceasingly  come  into  being  and  pass  away,  it  remains 
unchanged  as  one  and  the  same,  and  the  principle  of 
sufficient  reason  has  for  it  no  meaning.  As,  however, 
K/hisMs  the  form  under  which  all  knowledge  of  the  subject 
comes,  so  far  as  the  subject  knows  as  an  individual,  the 
Ideas  lie  quite  outside  the  sphere  of  its  knowledge.     If, 

(therefore,  the  Ideas  are  to  become  objects  of  knowledge, 
this  can  only  happen  by  transcending  the  individuality 
of  the  knowing  subject.  The  more  exact  and  detailed 
explanation  of  this  is  what  will  now  occupy  our  atten- 
tion. 

§  31.  First,  however,  the  following  very  essential 
remark.  I  hope  that  in  the  preceding  book  I  have 
succeeded  in  producing  the  conviction  that  what  is  called 
in  the  Kantian  philosophy  the  thing-in-itself,  and  appears 
there  as  so  significant,  and  yet  so  obscure  and  paradoxi- 
cal a  doctrine,  and  especially  on  account  of  the  manner 
in  which  Kant  introduced  it  as  an  inference  from  the 
caused  to  the  cause,  was  considered  a  stumbling-stone, 
and,  in  fact,  the  weak  side  of  his  philosophy, — that  this,  I 
say,  if  it  is  reached  by  the  entirely  different  way  by 
which  we  have  arrived  at  it,  is  nothing  but  the  will 
when  the  sphere  of  that  conception  is  extended  and 
defined  in  the  way  I  have  shown.  I  hope,  further,  that 
after  what  has  been  said  there  will  be  no  hesitation  in 
recognising  the  definite  grades  of  the  objectification  of 
the  will,  winch  is  the  inner  reality  of  the  world,  to  be 
what  Plato  called  the  eternal  Ideas  or  unchangeable  forms 
(ei&rf) ;  a  doctrine  which  is  regarded  as  the  principal,  but 
at  the  same  time  the  most  obscure  and  paradoxical 
dogma  of  his  system,  and  has  been  the  subject  of  reflec- 
tion and  controversy  of  ridicule  and  of  reverence  to  so 
many  and  such  differently  endowed  minds  in  the  course 
of  many  centuries. 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA  :  THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.     221 

If  now  the  will  is  for  us  the  thing-in-itself,  and  the  Idea 
is  the  immediate  objectivity  of  that  will  at  a  definite  grade, 
we  find  that  Kant's  thing-in-itself,  and  Plato's  Idea,  which 
to  him  is  the  only  oz/tw?  ov,  these  two  great  obscure  para- 
doxes of  the  two  greatest  philosophers  of  the  West  are  not 
indeed  identical,  but  yet  very  closely  related,  and  only 
distinguished  by  a  single  circumstance.  The  purport  of 
these  two  great  paradoxes,  with  all  inner  harmony  and 
relationship,  is  yet  so  very  different  on  account  of  the 
remarkable  diversity  of  the  individuality  of  their  authors, 
that  they  are  the  best  commentary  on  each  other,  for 
they  are  like  two  entirely  different  roads  that  conduct  us 
to  the  same  goal.  This  is  easily  made  clear.  What 
Kant  says  is  in  substance  this : — "  Time,  space,  and 
causality  are  not  determinations  of  the  thing-in-itself,  but 
belong  only  to  its  phenomenal  existence,  for  they  are 
nothing  but  the  forms  of  our  knowledge.  Since,  how- 
ever, all  multiplicity,  and  all  coming  into  being  and 
passing  away,  are  only  possible  through  time,  space,  and 
causality,  it  follows  that  they  also  belong  only  to  the 
phenomenon,  not  to  the  thing-in-itself.  But  as  our 
knowledge  is  conditioned  by  these  forms,  the  whole  of 
experience  is  only  knowledge  of  the  phenomenon,  not  of 
the  thing-in-itself;  therefore  its  laws  cannot  be  made 
valid  for  the  thing-in-itself.  This  extends  even  to 
our  own  ego,  and  we  know  it  only  as  phenomenon,  and 
not  according  to  what  it  may  be  in  itself."  Tliis  is 
the  meaning  and  content  of  the  doctrine  of  Kant  in  the 
important  respect  we  are  considering.  What  Plato  says 
is  this: — "The  things  of  this  world  which  our  senses 
perceive  have  no  true  being;  they  always  become,  they 
never  are:  they  have  only  a  relative  being;  they  all 
exist  merely  in  and  through  their  relations  to  each  other ; 
their  whole  being  may,  therefore,  quite  as  well  be  called 
a  non-being.  They  are  consequently  not  objects  of  a  true 
knowledge  (eTnGTrmrj),  for  such  a  knowledge  can  only  be 
of  what  exists  for  itself,  and  always  in  the  same  way ; 


222  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  bk.  hi. 

they,  on  the  contrary,  are  only  the  objects  of  an  opinion 
based  on  sensation   (Soga  fier    aiadrjaeax;   aXoyov).      So 
long  as  we  are  confined  to  the  perception  of  these,  we  are 
like  men  who  sit  in  a  dark  cave,  bound  so  fast  that  they 
cannot  turn  their  heads,  and  who  see  nothing  but  the 
shadows  of  real  things  which  pass  between  them  and  a 
fire  burning  behind  them,  the  light  of  which  casts  the 
shadows  on  the  wall  opposite  them ;    and  even  of  them- 
selves nnd  of  each  other  they  see  only  the  shadows  on 
the  walL     Their  wisdom  would  thus  consist  in  predicting 
the  order  of  the  shadows  learned  from  experience.     The 
real    archetypes,    on    the    other    hand,    to    which   these 
shadows  correspond,  the  eternal  Ideas,  the  original  forms 
of  all  things,  can  alone  be  said  to  have  true  being  (ovrovi 
op),  because  they  always  are,  but  never  become  nor  pass 
away.     To  them  belongs  no  multiplicity ;    for  each  of 
them  is  according  to  its  nature  only  one,  for  it  is  the 
archetype    itself,    of    which    all    particular    transitory 
things  of  the  same  kind  which  are  named  after  it  are 
copies  or  shadows.     They  have  also  no  coming  into  being 
nor  'passing  away,  for  they  are  truly  being,  never  becom- 
ing  nor   vanishing,  like  their  fleeting  shadows.     (It  is 
necessarily  presupposed,  however,  in  these  two  negative 
definitions,  that  time,  space,  and  casuality  have  no  signi- 
ficance or  validity  for  these  Ideas,  and  that  they  do  not 
exist  in  them.)     Of  these  only  can  there  be  true  know- 
ledge, for  the  object  of  such  knowledge  can  only  be  that 
which  always  and  in  every  respect  (thus  in-itself)  is ;  not 
that  which  is  and  again  is  not,  according  as  we  look  at 
it."     This  is  Plato's  doctrine.     It  is  clear,  and  requires 
no  further  proof  that  the  inner  meaning  of  both  doctrines 
is  entirely  the  same ;  that  both  explain  the  visible  world 
as  a  manifestation,  which  in  itself  is  nothing,  and  which 
only  has  meaning  and  a  borrowed  reality  through  that 
which  expresses  itself  in  it  (in  the  one  case  the  thing-in- 
self,  in  the  other  the  Idea).     To  this  last,  which  has°true 
being,  all  the  forms  of  that  phenomenal  existence,  even 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA:    THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.     22I 

the  most  universal  and  essential,  are,  according  to  both 
doctrines,  entirely  foreign.  In  order  to  disown  these 
forms  Kant  has  directly  expressed  them  even  in  abstract 
terms,  and  distinctly  refused  time,  space,  and  casuality  as 
mere  forms  of  the  phenomenon  to  the  thing-in-itself. 
Plato,  on  the  other  hand,  did  not  attain  to  the  fullest 
expression,  and  has  only  distinctly  refused  these  forms  to 
his  Ideas  in  that  he  denies  of  the  Ideas  what  is  only 
possible  through  these  forms,  multiplicity  of  similar 
things,  coming  into  being  and  passing  away.  Though 
it  is  perhaps  superfluous,  I  should  like  to  illustrate  this 
remarkable  and  important  agreement  by  an  example. 
There  stands  before  us,  let  us  suppose,  an  animal  in  the 
full  activity  of  life.  Plato  would  say,  "  This  animal  has 
no  true  existence,  but  merely  an  apparent  existence,  a 
constant  becoming,  a  relative  existence  which  may  just 
as  well  be  called  non-being  as  being.  Only  the  Idea 
which  expresses  itself  in  that  animal  is  truly  '  being/  or 
the  animal  in-itself  {clvto  to  OrjpLov),  which  is  dependent 
upon  nothing,  but  is  in  and  for  itself  (ica&  eavro,  aei  a>? 
avTwi) ;  it  has  not  become,  it  will  not  end,  but  always  is 
in  the  same  way  (aei  ov,  kcli  fju^eirore  oure  ytyvo/jLevov 
ovre  cLTroXkvjjLevov).  If  now  we  recognise  its  Idea  in  this 
animal,  it  is  all  one  and  of  no  importance  whether  we 
have  this  animal  now  before  us  or  its  progenitor  of  a 
thousand  years  ago,  whether  it  is  here  or  in  a  distant 
land,  whether  it  presents  itself  in  this  or  that  manner, 
position,  or  action ;  whether,  lastly,  it  is  this  or  any  other 
individual  of  the  same  species ;  all  this  is  nothing,  and 
only  concerns  the  phenomenon;  the  Idea  of  the  animal 
alone  has  true  being,  and  is  the  object  of  real  knowledge." 
So  Plato ;  Kant  would  say  something  of  this  kind,  "  This 
animal  is  a  phenomenon  in  time,  space,  and  casuality, 
which  are  collectively  the  conditions  a  priori  of  the  possi- 
bility of  experience,  lying  in  our  faculty  of  knowledge, 
not  determinations  of  the  thing-in-itsef.  Therefore  this 
animal  as  we  perceive  it  at  this  definite  point  of  time,  in 


224  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  bk.  iil 

this  particular  place,  as  an  individual  in  the  connection 
of  experience  (i.e.t  in  the  chain  of  causes  and  effects), 
which  has  come  into  being,  and  will  just  as  necessarily 
pass  away,  is  not  a  thing-in-itself,  but  a  phenomenon 
which  only  exists  in  relation  to  our  knowledge.  To 
know  it  as  what  it  may  be  in  itself,  that  is  to  say,  inde- 
pendent of  all  the  determinations  which  lie  in  time,  space, 
and  casuality,  would  demand  another  kind  of  knowledge 
than  that  which  is  possible  for  us  through  the  senses  and 
the  understanding." 

In  order  to  bring  Kant's  mode  of  expression  nearer 
the  Platonic,  we  might  say :  Time,  space,  and  causality  are 
that  arrangement  of  our  intellect  by  virtue  of  which  the 
one  being  of  each  kind  which  alone  really  is,  manifests 
itself  to  us  as  a  multiplicity  of  similar  beings,  constantly 
appearing  and  disappearing  in  endless  succession.  The 
apprehension  of  things  by  means  of  and  in  accordance 
with  this  arrangement  is  immanent  knowledge ;  that,  on 
the  other  hand,  which  is  conscious  of  the  true  state  of 
the  case,  is  transcendental  knowledge.  The  latter  is 
obtained  in  abstracto  through  the  criticism  of  pure  reason, 
but  in  exceptional  cases  it  may  also  appear  intuitively. 
This  last  is  an  addition  of  my  own,  which  I  am  endeavour- 
ing in  this  Third  Book  to  explain. 

If  the  doctrine  of  Kant  had  ever  been  properly  under- 
stood and  grasped,  and  since  Kant's  time  that  of  Plato, 
if  men  had  truly  and  earnestly  reflected  on  the  inner 
meaning  and  content  of  the  teaching  of  these  two  great 
masters,  instead  of  involving  themselves  in  the  techni- 
calities of  the  one  and  writing  parodies  of  the  style  of 
the  other,  they  could  not  have  failed  to  discern  long 
ago  to  what  an  extent  these  two  great  philosophers 
agree,  and  that  the  true  meaning,  the  aim  of  both 
systems,  is  the  same.  Not  only  would  they  have 
refrained  from  constantly  comparing  Plato  to  Leibnitz, 
on  whom  his  spirit  certainly  did  not  rest,  or  indeed  to  a 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA  :   THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.     225 

well-known  gentleman  who  is  still  alive,1  as  if  they  wanted 
to  mock  the  manes  of  the  great  thinker  of  the  past ;  but 
they  would  have  advanced  much  farther  in  general,  or 
rather  they  would  not  have  fallen  so  disgracefully  far 
behind  as  they  have  in  the  last  forty  years.  They 
would  not  have  let  themselves  be  led  by  the  nose,  to-day 
by  one  vain  boaster  and  to-morrow  by  another,  nor  would 
they  have  opened  the  nineteenth  century,  which  promised 
so  much  in  Germany,  with  the  philosophical  farces  that 
were  performed  over  the  grave  of  Kant  (as  the  ancients 
sometimes  did  at  the  funeral  obsequies  of  their  dead), 
and  which  deservedly  called  forth  the  derision  of  other 
nations,  for  such  things  least  become  the  earnest  and 
strait-laced  German.  But  so  small  is  the  chosen  public 
of  true  philosophers,  that  even  students  who  understand 
are  but  scantily  brought  them  by  the  centuries — Eiai  Brj 
vap07]KO(f)opoi  fjuev  7ro\Xot,  /3a/c%ot  Se  ye  iravpou  (Thyrsigeri 
quidem  multi,  Bacchi  vero  pauci).  'H  arifiia  cf)i\ocro(f>iq 
Bia  ravra  irpoaTreTTTCoKev,  oti  ov  /car  a^iav  auT^?  dirTOvrai,' 
ov  yap  voOov?  eBet  dirTeadcu,  aWa  yvrjcriovs  (Earn  oh  rem 
philosop/iia  in  infamiam  incidit,  quod  non  pro  dignitate 
ipsam  attingunt :  neque  enim  a  spuriis,  sed  a  legitimes  erat 
attrectanda). — Plato. 

Men  followed  the  words, — such  words  as  "a  priori 
ideas,"  "  forms  of  perception  and  thought  existing  in  con- 
sciousness independently  of  experience,"  "  fundamental 
conceptions  of  the  pure  understanding,"  &c,  &c, — and 
asked  whether  Plato's  Ideas,  which  were  also  original 
conceptions,  and  besides  this  were  supposed  to  be  remi- 
niscences of  a  perception  before  life  of  the  truly  real 
things,  were  in  some  way  the  same  as  Kant's  forms  of 
perception  and  thought,  which  lie  a  priori  in  our  conscious- 
ness. On  account  of  some  slight  resemblance  in  the  expres- 
sion of  these  two  entirely  different  doctrines,  the  Kantian 
doctrine  of  the  forms  which  limit  the  knowledge  of  the 
individual  to  the  phenomenon,  and  the  Platonic  doctrine 

1  F.  H.  J*cobi. 
VOL.   I.  P 


226  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  bk.  in. 

of  Ideas,  the  knowledge  of  which  these  very  forms  ex- 
pressly deny,  these  so  far  diametrically  opposed  doctrines 
were  carefully  compared,  and  men  deliberated  and  dis- 
puted as  to  whether  they  were  identical,  found  at  last 
that  they  were  not  the  same,  and  concluded  that  Plato's 
doctrine  of  Ideas  and  Kant's  "  Critique  of  Reason  "  had 
nothing  in  common.      But  enough  of  this.1 

§  32.  It  follows  from  our  consideration  of  the  sub- 
ject, that,  for  us,  Idea  and  thing-in-itself  are  not  entirely 
one  and  the  same,  in  spite  of  the  inner  agreement  be- 
tween Kant  and  Plato,  and  the  identity  of  the  aim  they 
had  before  them,  or  the  conception  of  the  world  which 
roused  them  and  led  them  to  philosophise.  The  Idea  is 
for  us  rather  the  direct,  and  therefore  adequate,  objec- 
tivity of  the  thing-in-itself,  which  is,  however,  itself  the 
will — the  will  as  not  yet  objectified,  not  yet  become  idea. 
For  the  thing-in-itself  must,  even  according  to  Kant,  be 
free  from  all  the  forms  connected  with  knowing  as  such ; 
and  it  is  merely  an  error  on  his  part  (as  is  shown  in  the 
Appendix)  that  he  did  not  count  among  these  forms, 
before  all  others,  that  of  being  object  for  a  subject,  for 
it  is  the  first  and  most  universal  form  of  all  phenomena, 
i.e.,  of  all  idea;  he  should  therefore  have  distinctly 
denied  objective  existence  to  his  thing-in-itself,  which 
would  have  saved  him  from  a  great  inconsistency  that 
was  soon  discovered.  The  Platonic  Idea,  on  the  other 
hand,  is  necessarily  object,  something  known,  an  idea, 
and  in  that  respect  is  different  from  the  thing-in-itself, 
but  in  that  respect  only.  It  has  merely  laid  aside  the 
subordinate  forms  of  the  phenomenon,  all  of  which  we 
include  in  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason,  or  rather 
it  has  not  yet  assumed  them ;  but  it  has  retained  the 
first  and  most  universal  form,  that  of  the  idea  in  general, 
the  form  of  being  object  for  a  subject.     It  is  the  forms 

1  See  for    example,    "Immanuel     of  Philosophy,"  vol  vi.  pp.  S02-815 
Kant,  a  Reminiscence,  by  Fr.  Bouter-     and  823. 
week,"  p.  49,  ana  Buhle's  "History 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA  :  THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.     227 

which  are  subordinate  to  this  (whose  general  expression 
is  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason)  that  multiply  the 
Idea  in  particular  transitory  individuals,  whose  number 
is  a  matter  of  complete  indifference  to  the  Idea.  The 
principle  of  sufficient  reason  is  thus  again  the  form  into 
which  the  Idea  enters  when  it  appears  in  the  knowledge 
of  the  subject  as  individual.  The  particular  thing  that 
manifests  itself  in  accordance  with  the  principle  of  suffi- 
cient reason  is  thus  only  an  indirect  objectification  of 
the  thing-in-itself  (which  is  the  will),  for  between  it  and 
the  thing-in-itself  stands  the  Idea  as  the  only  direct 
objectivity  of  the  will,  because  it  has  assumed  none  of 
the  special  forms  of  knowledge  as  such,  except  that  of 
the  idea  in  general,  i.e.,  the  form  of  being  object  for  a 
subject.  Therefore  it  alone  is  the  most  adequate  objectivity 
of  the  will  or  thing-in-itself  which  is  possible ;  indeed  it 
is  the  whole  thing-in-itself,  only  under  the  form  of  the 
idea ;  and  here  lies  the  ground  of  the  great  agreement 
between  Plato  and  Kant,  although,  in  strict  accuracy, 
that  of  which  they  speak  is  not  the  same.  But  the  par- 
ticular things  are  no  really  adequate  objectivity  of  the 
will,  for  in  them  it  is  obscured  by  those  forms  whose 
general  expression  is  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason, 
but  which  are  conditions  of  the  knowledge  which  belongs 
to  the  individual  as  such.  If  it  is  allowable  to  »draw 
conclusions  from  an  impossible  presupposition,  we  would, 
in  fact,  no  longer  know  particular  things,  nor  events,  nor 
change,  nor  multiplicity,  but  would  comprehend  only 
Ideas, — only  the  grades  of  the  objectification  of  that  one 
will,  of  the  thing-in-itself,  in  pure  unclouded  knowledge. 
Consequently  our  world  would  be  a  nunc  stans,  if  it 
were  not  that,  as  knowing  subjects,  we  are  also  indivi- 
duals, i.e.,  our  perceptions  come  to  us  through  the  medium 
of  a  body,  from  the  affections  of  which  they  proceed,  and 
which  is  itself  only  concrete  willing,  objectivity  of  the 
will,  and  thus  is  an  object  among  objects,  and  as  such 
comes  into  the  knowing  consciousness  in  the  only  way  in 


228  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  bk.  m. 

which  an  object  can,  through  the  forms  of  the  principle 
of  sufficient  reason,  and  consequently  already  presupposes, 
and  therefore  brings  in,  time,  and  all  other  forms  which  that 
principle  expresses.  Time  is  only  the  broken  and  piecemeal 
view  which  the  individual  being  has  of  the  Ideas,  which 
are  outside  time,  and  consequently  eternal.  Therefore 
Plato  says  time  is  the  moving  picture  of  eternity :  auovo? 
euccov  Kivryrq  6  ^/xwo?.1  ' 

§  33.  Since  now,  as  individuals,  we  have  no  other 
knowledge  than  that  which  is  subject  to  the  principle  of 
sufficient  reason,  and  this  form  of  knowledge  excludes 
the  Ideas,  it  is  certain  that  if  it  is  possible  for  us  to 
raise  ourselves  from  the  knowledge  of  particular  things 
to  that  of  the  Ideas,  this  can  only  happen  by  an  altera- 
tion taking  place  in  the  subject  which  is  analogous  and 
corresponds  to  the  great  change  of  the  whole  nature  of 
the  object,  and  by  virtue  of  which  the  subject,  so  far  as 
it  knows  an  Idea,  is  no  more  individual 

It  will  be  remembered  from  the  preceding  book  that 
knowledge  in  gen£rM,J3filomis_to  the  objectification  of 
will  at  its  higher_jp:ades,  and  sensibility,  nerves,  and 
brain,  just  like  the  other  parts  of  the  organised  being, 
are  the  expression  of  the  will  at  this  stage  of  its  ob- 
jectivity, and  therefore  the  idea  which  appears  through 
them  is  also  in  the  same  way  bound  to  the  service  of 
will  as  a  means  (jirj^avrj)  for  the  attainment  of  its  now 
complicated  (TroXvreXecrTepa)  aims  for  sustaining  a  being 
of  manifold  requirements.  Thus  originally  and  according 
to  its  nature,  knowledge  is  completely  subject  to  the  will, 
and,  like  the  immediate  object,  which,  by  means  of  the 
application  of  the  law  of  causality,  is  its  starting-point, 
all  knowledge  which  proceeds  in  accordance  with  the 
principle  of  sufficient  reason  remains  in  a  closer  or 
more  distant  relation  to  the  will.  For  the  individual 
finds  his  body  as  an  object  among  objects,  to  all  of  which 
it  is  related  and  connected   according  to  the  principle 

1  Cf.  Chap.  xxix.  of  Supplement 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA:   THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.    229 

of  sufficient  reason.  Thus  all  investigations  of  these 
relations  and  connections  lead  back  to  his  body,  and 
consequently  to  his  will.  Since  it  is  the  principle  oi 
sufficient  reason  which  places  the  objects  in  this  relation 
to  the  body,  and,  through  it,  to  the  will,  the  one  endea- 
vour of  the  knowledge  which  is  subject  to  this  principle 
will  be  to  find  out  the  relations  in  which  objects  are 
placed  to  each  other  through  this  principle,  and  thus  to 
trace  their  innumerable  connections  in  space,  time,  and 
causality.  For  only  through  these  is  the  object  interest- 
ing to  the  individual,  i.e.t  related  to  the  will  Therefore 
the  knowledge  which  is  subject  to  the  will  knows  nothing  s\ 
further  of  objects  than  their  relations,  knows  the  objects  I 
only  so  far  as  they  exist  at  this  time,  in  this  place,  under 
these  circumstances,  from  these  causes,  and  with  these 
effects — in  a  word,  as  particular  things ;  and  if  all  these 
relations  were  to  be  taken  away,  the  objects  would  also 
have  disappeared  for  it,  because  it  knew  nothing  more 
about  them.  We  must  not  disguise  the  fact  that  wjiat  r 
the  sciences_  consider.  in_ ...things  is  ajgo  ln  rfia1lty  ""thing  I 
more  than  this ;  their  relations,  the  connections  of  time  I 
and  space,  the  causes  of  natural  changes,  the  resemblance 
of  forms,  the  motives  of  actions, — thus  merely  relations. 
What  distinguishes  science  from  ordinary  knowledge  is 
merely  its  systematic  form,  the  facilitating  of  knowledge 
by  the  comprehension  of  all  particulars  in  the  universal, 
by  means  of  the  subordination  of  concepts,  and  the  com- 
pleteness of  knowledge  which  is  thereby  attained. /*^A1L 
relation  has  itself  only  a  relative  existence ;  for  example, 
all  being  in  time  is  also  non-being;  for  time  is  only  that 
by  means  of  adiich  opposite  determinations  can  belong 
to  the  same  thing ;  therefore  every  phenomenon  which 
is  in  time  again  is  not,  for  what  separates  its  beginning 
from  its  end  is  only  time,  which  is  essentially  a  fleeting, 
inconstant,  and  relative  thing,  here  called  duration.  But 
time  is   the  most  universal  form  of  all  objects  of  the 


a3o 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  BK.  HL 


knowledge  which  is  subject  to  the  will,  and  the  proto- 
type of  its  other  forms. 

Knowledge  now,  as  a  rule,  remains  always  subordi- 
nate to  the  service  of  the  will,  as  indeed  it  originated  for 
this  service,  and  grew,  so  to  speak,  to  the  will,  as  the 
head  to  the  body.  In  the  case  of  the  brutes  this  subjec- 
tion of  knowledge  to  the  will  can  never  be  abolished.  In 
the  case  of  men  it  can  be  abolished  only  in  exceptional 
cases,  which  we  shall  presently  consider  more  closely. 
This  distinction  between  man  and  brute  is  outwardly 
expressed  by  the  difference  of  the  relation  of  the  head  to 
the  body.  In  the  case  of  the  lower  brutes  both  are 
deformed :  in  all  brutes  the  head  is  directed  towards  the 
earth,  where  the  objects  of  its  will  lie;  even  in  the 
higher  species  the  head  and  the  body  are  still  far  more 
one  than  in  the  case  of  man,  whose  head  seems  freely 
set  upon  his  body,  as  if  only  carried  by  and  not  serving 
it.  This  human  excellence  is  exhibited  in  the  highest 
degree  by  the  Apollo  of  Belvedere ;  the  head  of  the  god 
of  the  Muses,  with  eyes  fixed  on  the  far  distance,  stands 
so  freely  on  his  shoulders  that  it  seems  wholly  delivered 
from  the  body,  and  no  more  subject  to  its  cares. 

§  34.  The  transition  which  we  have  referred  to  as 
possible,  but  yet  to  be  regarded  as  only  exceptional,  from 
the  common  knowledge  of  particular  tilings  to  the  know- 
ledge of  the  Idea,  takes  place  suddenly ;  for  knowledge 
breaks  free  from  the  service  of  the  will,  by  the  subject 
ceasing  to  be  merely  individual,  and  thus  becoming  the 
pure  will-less  subject  of  knowledge,  which  no  longer  traces 
relations  in  accordance  with  the  principle  of  sufhcient 
reason,  but  rests  in  fixed  contemplation  of  the  object 
1  presented  to  it,  out  of  its  connection  with  all  others,  and 
\  rises  into  it. 

A  lull  explanation  is  necessary  to  make  this  clear,  and 
the  reader  must  suspend  his  surprise  for  a  while,  till  he 
has  grasped  the  whole  thought  expressed  in  this  work, 
and  then  it  will  vanish  of  itself. 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA  :   THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.     231 

'/if,  raised  by  the  power  of  the  mind,  a  man  relinquishes 
the  common  way  of  looking  at  things,  gives  up  tracing, 
under  the  guidance  of  the  forms  of  the  principle  of  sufficient 
reason,  their  relations  to  each  other,  the  final  goal  of  which 
is  always  a  relation  to  his  own  will ;  if  he  thus  ceases  to 
consider  the  where,  the  when,  the  why,  and  the  whither 
of  things,  and  looks  simply  and  solely  at  the  what ;  if, 
further,  he  does  not  allow  abstract  thought,  the  concepts 
of  the  reason,  to  take  possession  of  his  consciousness, 
but,  instead  of  all  this,  gives  the  whole  power  of  his  mind 
to  perception,  sinks  himself  entirely  in  this,  and  lets  his 
whole  consciousness  be  filled  with  {3hft  qm'ftti  con  tempi  a- 
tJTgLilLtftp-  natauaJ  ohjp.ot  actually  prf,fip,nt.  whether  a 
landscape,  a  tree,  a  mountain,  a  building,  or  whatever  it 
may  be ;  inasmuch  as  he  loses  himself  in  this  object  (to  use 
a  pregnant  German  idiom),  i.e.,  forgets  even  his  indivi- 
duality, his  will,  and  only  continues  to  exist  as  the  pure 

subject,  the  clear  mirror of .  the  ^object,  so  that  it  is  as  if 

tne  object  alone  were  there,  without  any  one  to  perceive 
it,  and  he  can  no  longer  separate  the  perceiver  from  the 
perception,  but  both  have  become  one,  because  the  whole 
consciousness  is  filled  and  occupied  with  one  single  sen- 
suous picture;  if  thus  the  object  has  to  such  an  extent 
passed  out  of  all  relation  to  something  outside.it,  and  the 
subject  out  of  all  relation^  thft  will,  then  that  which  is 
so  known  is  no  longer  the  particular  thing  as  such ;  but 
it  is  the  Idea,  the  eternal  form,  the  immediate  objectivity 
of  the  will  at  this  grade ;  and,  therefore,  he  who  is  sunk 
in  this  perception  is  no  longer  individual,  for  in  such 
perception  the  individual  has  lost  himself;  but  he  is 
pure,  will-less,  painless,  timeless  subject  of  knowledge. 
This,  which  in  itself  is  so  remarkable  (which  I  well  know 
confirms  'the  saying  that  originated  with  Thomas  Paine, 
Du  sublime  au  ridicule  il  rCy  a  qu'un  pas),  will  by  degrees 
become  clearer  and  less  surprising  from  what  follows. 
It  was  this  that  was  running  in  Spinoza's  mind  when  he 
wrote :  Meus  wterna  est,  quatenus  res  sub  ozternitatis  specie 


232  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  bk.  hi. 

concipit  (Eth.  V.  pr.  31,  Schol.)1  ^n  such  contemplation 
the  particular  thing  becomes  at  once  the  Idea  of  its 
species,  and  the  perceiving  individual  becomes  pure  sub- 
ject of  knowledge.  The  individual,  as  such,  knows  only 
particular  things  ;  the  pure  subject  of  knowledge  knows 
only  Ideas.  For  the  individual  is  the  subjec^of  know- 
ledge in  its  relation  to  a  definite  particular,  manifestation 
pj  will,  and  in  subjection JoJkis.  This  particular  mani- 
festation of  will  is,  as  such,  subordinated  to  the  principle 
of  sufficient  reason  in  all  its  forms ;  therefore,  all  know- 
ledge which  relates  itself  to  it  also  follows  the  principle 
of  sufficient  reason,  and  no  other  kind  of  knowledge  is 
fitted  to  be  of  use  to  the  will  but  this,  which  always  con- 
sists merely  of  relations  to  the  object.  The  knowing 
individual  as  such,  and  the  particular  things  known  by 
him,  are  always  in  some  place,  at  some  time,  and  are  links 
in  the  chain  of  causes  and  effects.  The  pure  subject  of 
knowledge  and  his  correlative,  the  Idea,  have  passed  out 
of  all  these  forms  of  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason: 
time,  place,  the  individual  that  knows,  and  the  individual 
that  is  known,  have  for  them  no  meaning.  When  an 
individual  knower  has  raised  himself  in  the  manner 
described  to  be  pure  subject  of  knowledge,  and  at  the  same 
time  has  raised  the  observed  object  to  the  Platonic  Idea, 
the  world  as  idea  appears  complete  and  pure,  and  the  full 
objecti  fication  of  the  will  takes  place,  for  the  Platonic 
Idea  alone  is  its  adequate  objectivity.  The  Idea  includes 
object  and  subject  in  like  manner  in  itself,  for  they  are 
its  one  form ;  but  in  it  they  are  absolutely  of  equal  im- 
portance ;  for  as  the  object  is  here,  as  elsewhere,  simply 
the  idea  of  the  subject,  the  subject,  which  passes  entirely 
into  the  perceived  object*  has  thus  become  this  object 
itself,  for  the  whole  consciousness  is  nothing  but  its  per- 

1  I  also  recommend  the  perusal  of  tiva,  in  illustration  of  the  kind  of 

what   Spinoza  says   in   his    Ethics  knowledge  we  are  considering,  and 

(Book  II.,  Prop.  40,  Schol.  2,  and  very  specially  Prop.  29,  Schol.  ;  prop. 

Book  V.,  Props.  25-38),  concerning  36,  Schol.,  and  Prop.  38,  Demonst.  et 

the  cognitio  teriii  generis,  rive  intui-  SchoL 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA  :   THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.     233 

fectly  distinct  picture.  Now  this  consciousness  consti- 
tutes  the  whole  worldjis  ideal  for  one  imagines  the  whole 
of  the  Platonic  Ideas,  or  grades  of  the  objectivity  of  will, 
in  their  series  passing  through  it.  The  particular  things 
of  all  time  and  space  are  nothing  but  Ideas  multiplied 
through  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason  (the  form  of  the 
knowledge  of  the  individual  as  such),  and  thus  obscured 
as  regards  their  pure  objectivity.  When  the  Platonic 
Idea  appears,  in  it  subject  and  object  are  no  longer  to  be 
distinguished,  for  the  Platonic  Idea,  the  adequate  objec- 
tivity of  will,  the  true  world  as  idea,  arises  only  when 
the  subject  and  object  reciprocally  fill  and  penetrate 
each  other  completely ;  and  in  the  same  way  the  know- 
ing and  the  known  individuals,  as  things  in  themselves, 
are  not  to  be  distinguished.  For  if  we  look  entirely 
away  from  the  true  world  as  idea,  there  remains  nothing  fy 
but  the  world  as  will  The_will  is  the  "  injtself "  of  the. 
Platonic  Idea^ which  fully  objectifies  it;  it  is  also  the 
^in-itself  "  of  the  particular  thing  and  of  the  individual 
that  knows  it,  which  objectify  it  incompletely.  As  will, 
outside  the  idea  and  all  its  forms,  it  is  one  and  the  same 
in  the  object  contemplated  and  in  the  individual,  who 
soars  aloft  in  this  contemplation,  and  becomes  conscious 
of  himself  as  pure  subject.  These  two  are,  therefore,  in 
themselves  not  different,  for  in  themselves  they  are  will, 
which  here  knows  itself ;  and  multiplicity  and  difference 
exist  only  as  the  way  in  which  this  knowledge  comes  to 
the  will,  ie.,  only  in  the  phenomenon,  on  account  of  its 
form,  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason. 

Now  the  known  thing,  without  me  as  the  subject  of 
knowledge,  is  just  as  little  an  object,  and  not  mere  will, 
blind  effort,  as  without  the  object,  without  the  idea,  I 
am  a  knowing  subject  and  not  mere  blind  will.  This 
will  is  in  itself,  i.e.y  outside  the  idea,  one  and  the  same 
with  mine:  only  in  the  world  as  idea,  whose  form  is 
always  at  least  that  of  subject  and  object,  we  are  sepa- 
rated as  the  known  and  the  knowing  individual.      As 


234  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  bk.  hi. 

soon  as  knowledge,  the  world  as  idea,  is  abolished,  there 
remains  nothing  but  mere  will,  blind  effort.  That  it 
should  receive  objectivity,  become  idea,  supposes  at  once 
both  subject  and  object;  but  that  this  should  be  pure, 
complete,  and  adequate  objectivity  of  the  will,  supposes 
the  object  as  Platonic  Idea,  free  from  the  forms  of  the 
principle  of  sufficient  reason,  and  the  subject  as  the  pure 
subject  of  knowledge,  free  from  individuality  and  subjec- 
tion to  the  will. 

Whoever  now,  has,  after  the  manner  referred  to,  be- 
come so  absorbed  and  lost  in  the  perception  of  nature 
that  he  only  continues  to  exist  as  the  pure  knowing  sub- 
ject, becomes  in  this  way  directly  conscious  that,  as  such, 
he  is  the  condition,  that  is,  the  supporter,  of  the  world 
and  all  objective  existence ;  for  this  now  shows  itself  as 
dependent  upon  his  existence.  Thus  he  draws  nature 
into  himself,  so  that  he  sees  it  to  be  merely  an  accident 
of  his  own  being.     In  this  sense  Byron  says —  h 

"  Are  not  the  mountains,  waves,  and  skies,  a  part 
Of  me  and  of  my  soul,  as  I  of  them  ? " 

But  how  shall  he  who  feels  this,  regard  himself  as  ab- 
solutely transitory,  in  contrast  to  imperishable  nature  ? 
Such  a  man  will  rather  be  filled  with  the  consciousness, 
which  the  Upanishad  of  the  Veda  expresses :  Ho&  omnes 
crcuturce  in  totum  ego  sum,  et  proeter  me  aliud  ens  non  est 
(Oupnekhat,  i  12  2).1 

§  3  5.  In  order  to  gain  a  deeper  insight  into  the  nature  of 
the  world,  it  is  absolutely  necessary  that  we  should  learn 
to  distinguish  the  will  as  thing-in-itself  from  its  ade- 
quate objectivity,  and  also  the  different  grades  in  which 
this  appears  more  and  more  distinctly  and  fully,  i.e.,  the 
Ideas  themselves,  from  the  merely  phenomenal  existence 
of  these  Ideas  in  the  forms  of  the  principle  of  sufficient 
reason,  the  restricted  method  of  knowledge  of  the  indi- 
vidual     We    shall    then    agree   with    Plato    when    he 

1  Cf.  Chap.  xxx.  of  the  Supplement 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA  :  THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.    235 

attributes  actual  being  only  to  the  Ideas,  and  allows  only 
an  illusive,  dream-like  existence  to  things  in  space  and 
time,  the  real  world  for  the  individual.      Then  we  shall 
understand  how  one  and  the  same  Idea  reveals  itself  in 
so  many  phenomena,  and  presents  its  nature  only  bit  by 
bit  to  the  individual,  one  side  after  another.     Then  we 
shall  also  distinguish  the  Idea  itself  from  the  way  in 
which   its  manifestation  appears  in  the   observation  of 
the  individual,  and  recognise  the  former  as  essential  and 
the  latter  as  unessential.     Let  us  consider  this  with  the 
help  of  examples  taken  from  the  most  insignificant  things, 
and  also  from  the  greatest.      When  the  clouds  move,  the 
figures  which  they  form  are  not  essential,  but  indifferent 
to  them;  but  that  as  elastic  vapour  they  are  pressed  to- 
gether, drifted  along,  spread  out,  or  torn  asunder  by  the 
force  of  the  wind :  this  is  their  nature,  the  essence  of  the 
forces  which   objectify   themselves   in   them,  the  Idea; 
their  actual  forms  are  only  for  the  individual  observer. 
To  the  brook  that  flows  over  stones,  the  eddies,  the  waves, 
the  foam-flakes  which  it  forms  are  indifferent  and  unes- 
sential ;  but  that  it  follows  the  attraction  of  gravity,  and 
behaves  as  inelastic,  perfectly  mobile,  formless,  transpa- 
rent fluid  :  this  is  its  nature ;  this,  if  known  through  per- 
ception, is  its  Idea ;  these  accidental  forms  are  only  for 
us  so  long  as  we  know  as  individuals.     The  ice  on  the 
window-pane  forms  itself  into  crystals  according  to  the 
laws  of  crystallisation,  which  reveal  the  essence  of  the 
force  of  nature  that  appears  here,  exhibit  the  Idea ;  but 
the  trees  and  flowers  which  it  traces  on  the  pane  are 
unessential,  and  are  only  there  for  us.     What  appears  in 
the  clouds,  the  brook,  and  the  crystal  is  the  weakest  echo 
of  that  will  which  appears  more  fully  in  the  plant,  more 
fully  still  in  the  beast,  and  most  fully  in  man.     But  only 
the  essential  in  all  these  grades  of  its  objectification  con- 
stitutes the  Idea;  on  the  other  hand,  its  unfolding  or 
development,   because  broken  up   in   the  forms  of  the 
principle  of  sufficient  reason  into  a  multiplicity  of  many- 


236  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  bk.  hi. 

sided  phenomena,  is  unessential  to  the  Idea,  lies  merely 
in  the  kind  of  knowledge  that  belongs  to  the  individual 
and  has  reality  only  for  this.  The  same  thing  necessarily 
holds  good  of  the  unfolding  of  that  Idea  which  is  the 
completest  objectivity  of  will.  Therefore,  the  history  of 
the  human  race,  the  throng  of  events,  the  change  of 
times,  the  multifarious  forms  of  human  life  in  different 
lands  and  countries,  all  this  is  only  the  accidental  form 
of  the  manifestation  of  the  Idea,  does  not  belong  to  the 
Idea  itself,  in  which  alone  lies  the  adequate  objectivity 
of  the  will,  but  only  to  the  phenomenon  which  appears 
in  the  knowledge  of  the  individual,  and  is  just  as  foreign, 
unessential,  and  indifferent  to  the  Idea  itself  as  the 
figures  which  they  assume  are  to  the  clouds,  the  form  of 
its  eddies  and  foam-flakes  to  the  brook,  or  its  trees  and 
flowers  to  the  ice. 

To  him  who  has  thoroughly  grasped  this,  and  can  dis- 
tinguish between  the  will  and  the  Idea,  and  between  the 
Idea  and  its  manifestation,  the  events  of  the  world  will 
have  significance  only  so  far  as  they  are  the  letters  out 
of  which  we  may  read  the  Idea  of  man,  but  not  in  and 
for  themselves.  He  will  not  believe  with  the  vulgar 
that  time  may  produce  something  actually  new  and 
significant ;  that  through  it,  or  in  it,  something  absolutely 
real  may  attain  to  existence,  or  indeed  that  it  itself  as  a 
whole  has  beginning  and  end,  plan  and  development,  and 
in  some  way  has  for  its  final  aim  the  highest  perfection 
(according  to  their  conception)  of  the  last  generation  of 
man,  whose  life  is  a  brief  thirty  years.  Therefore  he 
will  just  as  little,  with  Homer,  people  a  whole  Olympus 
with  gods  to  guide  the  events  of  time,  as,  with  Ossian,  he 
will  take  the  forms  of  the  clouds  for  individual  beings; 
for,  as  we  have  said,  both  have  just  as  much  meaning  as 
regards  the  Idea  which  appears  in  them.  In  the  mani- 
fold forms  of  human  life  and  in  the  unceasing  change  of 
events,  he  will  regard  the  Idea  only  as  the  abiding  and 
essential,  in  which  the  will  to  live  has  its  fullest  objec- 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA:   THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.     237 

tivity,  and  which  shows  its  different  sides  in  the  capacities, 
the  passions,  the  errors  and  the  excellences  of  the  human 
race ;  in  self-interest,  hatred,  love,  fear,  boldness,  frivolity, 
stupidity,  slyness,  wit,  genius,  and  so  forth,  all  of  which 
crowding  together  and  combining  in  thousands  of  forms 
(individuals),  continually  create  the  history  of  the  great 
and  the  little  world,  in  which  it  is  all  the  same  whether 
they  are  set  in  motion  by  nuts  or  by  crowns.  Finally, 
he  will  find  that  in  the  world  it  is  the  same  as  in  the 
dramas  of  Gozzi,  in  all  of  which  the  same  persons 
appear,  with  like  intention,  and  with  a  like  fate;  the 
motives  and  incidents  are  certainly  different  in  each 
piece,  but  the  spirit  of  the  incidents  is  the  same;  the 
actors  in  one  piece  know  nothing  of  the  incidents  of 
another,  although  they  performed  in  it  themselves ; 
therefore,  after  all  experience  of  former  pieces,  Pantaloon 
has  become  no  more  agile  or  generous,  Tartaglia  no  more 
conscientious,  Brighella  no  more  courageous,  and  Colum- 
bine no  more  modest. 

Suppose  we  were  allowed  for  once  a  clearer  glance 
into  the  kingdom  of  the  possible,  and  over  the  whole 
chain  of  causes  and  effects ;  if  the  earth-spirit  appeared 
and  showed  us  in  a  picture  all  the  greatest  men,  en- 
lighteners  of  the  world,  and  heroes,  that  chance  destroyed 
before  they  were  ripe  for  their  work;  then  the  great 
events  that  would  have  changed  the  history  of  the  world 
and  brought  in  periods  of  the  highest  culture  and  en- 
lightenment, but  which  the  blindest  chance,  the  most 
insignificant  accident,  hindered  at  the  outset ;  lastly,  the 
splendid  powers  of  great  men,  that  would  have  enriched 
whole  ages  of  the  world,  but  which,  either  misled  by 
error  or  passion,  or  compelled  by  necessity,  they  squandered 
uselessly  on  unworthy  or  unfruitful  objects,  or  even  wasted 
in  play.  If  we  saw  all  this,  we  would  shudder  and  lament 
at  the  thought  of  the  lost  treasures  of  whole  periods  of 
the  world.  But  the  earth-spirit  would  smile  and  say, 
"  The  source  from  which  the  individuals  and  their  powers 


23*  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  bk.  hi. 

proceed  is  inexhaustible  and  unending  as  time  and  space ; 
for,  like  these  forms  of  all  phenomena,  they  also  are  only 
phenomena,  visibility  of  the  will.  No  finite  measure 
can  exhaust  that  infinite  source;  therefore  an  undimi- 
nished eternity  is  always  open  for  the  return  of  any 
event  or  work  that  was  nipped  in  the  bud.  In  this  world 
of  phenomena  true  loss  is  just  as  little  possible  as  true 
gain.  The  will  alone  is ;  it  is  the  thing  in-itself,  and  the 
source  of  all  these  phenomena.  Its  self-knowledge  and 
its  assertion  or  denial,  which  is  then  decided  upon,  is  the 
only  event  in-itself." x 

§  36.  History  follows  the  thread  of  events;  it  is  prag- 
matic so  far  as  it  deduces  them  in  accordance  with  the 
law  of  motivation,  a  law  that  determines  the  self-mani- 
festing will  wherever  it  is  enlightened  by  knowledge. 
At  the  lowest  grades  of  its  objectivity,  where  it  still  acts 
without  knowledge,  natural  science,  in  the  form  of  etiology, 
treats  of  the  laws  of  the  changes  of  its  phenomena,  and, 
in  the  form  of  morphology,  of  what  is  permanent  in  them. 
This  almost  endless  task  is  lightened  by  the  aid  of  con- 
cepts, which  comprehend  what  is  general  in  order  that 
we  may  deduce  what  is  particular  from  it.  Lastly, 
mathematics  treats  of  the  mere  forms,  time  and  space,  in 
which  the  Ideas,  broken  up  into  multiplicity,  appear  for 
the  knowledge  of  the  subject  as  individual.  All  these, 
of  which  the  common  name  is  science,  proceed  according 
to  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason  in  its  different  forms, 
and  their  theme  is  always  the  phenomenon,  its  laws,  con- 
nections, and  the  relations  which  result  from  them.  But 
what  kind  of  knowledge  is  conceineiLwith  that  which  is 
outside  and  "idp.ppndp.nt  nf  all  relation^  t.W.  which  alone 
is  really  essential  to  the  world,  the  true  content  of  its 
phenomena,  that  which  is  subject  to  no  change,  and 
therefore  is  known  with  equal  truth  for  all  time,  in  a 
word,  the  Ideas,  which  are  the  direct  and  adequate  objec- 

1  This  last  sentence  cannot  be  understood  without  some  acquaintance 
with  the  next  book. 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA  •  THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.    2& 

tivity  of  the  thing  iu-itself,  the  will  ?  We  answer,  Art, 
the  work  of  genius.  It  repeats  or  reproduces  the  eternal 
Ideas  grasped  through  pure  contemplation,  the  essential 
and  abiding  in  all  the  phenomena  of  the  world;  and 
according  to  what  the  material  is  in  which  it  reproduces, 
it  is  sculpture  or  painting,  poetry  or  music.  Its  one 
source  is  the  knowledge  of  Ideas ;  its  one  aim  the  com- 
munication of  this  knowledge.  While  science,  following 
the  unresting  and  inconstant  stream  of  the  fourfold  forms 
of  reason  and  consequent,  with  each  end  attained ,  sees 
further,  and  can  never  reach  a  final  goal  nor  attain  full 
satisfaction,  any  more  than  by  running  we  can  reach  the 
place  where  the  clouds  touch  the  horizon;  art,  on  the 
contrary,  is  everywhere  at  its  goaL  For  it  plucks  the 
object  of  its  contemplation  out  of  the  stream  of  the 
world's  course,  and  has  it  isolated  before  it.  And  this 
particular  thing,  which  in  that  stream  was  a  small  perish- 
ing part,  becomes  to  art  the  representative  of  the  whole, 
an  equivalent  of  the  endless  multitude  in  space  and 
time.  It  therefore  pauses  at  this  particular  thing ;  the 
course  of  time  stops;  the  relations  vanish  for  it;  only 
the  essential,  the  Idea,  is  its  object.  We  may,  therefore, 
accurately  define  it  as  the  way  of  viewing  things  inde- 
-qmdent  of  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason,  in  opposition 
to  the  way  of  viewing  them  which  proceeds  in  accordance 
with  that  principle,  and  which  is  the  method  of  expe- 
rience and  of  science.  This  last  method  of  considering 
things  may  be  compared  to  a  line  infinitely  extended  in 
a  horizontal  direction,  and  the  former  to  a  vertical  line 
which  cuts  it  at  any  point.  The  method  of  viewing 
things  which  proceeds  in  accordance  with  the  principle 
of  sufficient  reason  is  the  rational  method,  and  it  alone  is 
valid  and  of  use  in  practical  life  and  in  science.  The 
method  which  looks  away  from  the  content  of  this  prin- 
ciple is  the  method  of  genius,  which  is  only  valid  and  of 
use  in  art.  The  first  is  the  method  of  Aristotle ;  the 
second  is,  on  the  whole,  that  of  Plato.     The  first  is  like 


240  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  bk.  hi. 

the  mighty  storm,  that  rushes  along  without  beginning 
and  without  aim,  bending,  agitating,  and  carrying  away 
everything  before  it ;  the  second  is  like  the  silent  sun- 
beam, that  pierces  through  the  storm  quite  unaffected  by 
it  The  first  is  like  the  innumerable  showering  drops  of 
the  waterfall,  which,  constantly  changing,  never  rest  for 
an  instant ;  the  second  is  like  the  rainbow,  quietly  resting 
on  this  raging  torrent.  Only  through  the  pure  contem- 
plation described  above,  which  ends  entirely  in  the  object, 
can  Ideas  be  comprehended;  and  the  nature  of  genius 
consists  in  pre-eminent  capacity  for  such  contemplation. 
Now,  as  this  requires  that  a  man  should  entirely  forget 
himself  and  the  relations  in  which  he  stands,  genius  is 
simply  the  completest  objectivity,  i.e.}  the  objective  ten- 
dency of  the  mind,  as  opposed  to  the  subjective,  which  is 
directed  to  one's  own  self — in  other  words,  to  the  wilL 
Thus  genius  is  _  the  faculty  of  continuing  in  the  state  of 
pnrp.  pp.rr.p.ptionj  of  losing  oneself  in  perception,  and  of 
enlisting  in  this  service  the  knowledge  which  originally 
existed  only  for  the  service  of  the  will ;  that  is  to  say, 
genius  is  the  power  of  leaving  one's  own  interests,  wishes, 
and  aims  entirely  out  of  sight,  thus  of  entirely  renounc- 
ing one's  own  personality  for  a  time,  so  as  to  remain  pure 
knowing  suoject,  clear  vision  of  the  world ;  and  this  noj 
merely  at  moments,  but  for  a  sufficient  length  of  time, 
and  with  sufficient  consciousness,  to  enable  one  to  repro- 
duce by  deliberate  art  what  has  thus  been  apprehended, 
and  "  to  fix  in  lasting  thoughts  the  wavering  images  that 
float  before  the  mind."  It  is  as  if,  when  genius  appears 
in  an  individual,  a  far  larger  measure  of  the  power  of 
knowledge  falls  to  his  lot  than  is  necessary  for  the  ser- 
vice of  an  individual  will ;  and  this  superfluity  of  know- 
ledge, being  free,  now  becomes  subject  purified  from  will, 
a  clear  mirror  of  the  inner  nature  of  the  world.  This 
explains  the  activity,  amounting  even  to  disquietude,  of 
men  of  genius,  for  the  present  can  seldom  satisfy  them, 
because  it  does  not  fill  their  consciousness.     This  gives 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA  :   THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.     241 

them  that  restless  aspiration,  that  unceasing  desire  for  new 
things,  and  for  the  contemplation  of  lofty  things,  and 
also  that  longing  that  is  hardly  ever  satisfied,  for  men 
of  similar  nature  and  of  like  stature,  to  whom  they  might 
communicate  themselves;  whilst  the  common  mortal, 
entirely  filled  and  satisfied  by  the  common  present,  ends 
in  it,  and  finding  everywhere  his  like,  enjoys  that  peculiar 
satisfaction  in  daily  life  that  is  denied  to  genius. 

Imagination  has  rightly  been  recognised  as  an  essential 
element  of  genius ;  it  has  sometimes  even  been  regarded 
as  identical  with  it ;  but  this  is  a  mistake.  As  the  objects 
of  genius  are  the  eternal  Ideas,  the  permanent,  essential 
forms  of  the  world  and  all  its  phenomena,  and  as  the 
knowledge  of  the  Idea  is  necessarily  knowledge  through 
percepiion,  is  not  abstract,  the  knowledge  of  the  genius 
would  be  limited  to  the  Ideas  of  the  objects  actually 
present  to  his  person,  and  dependent  upon  the  chain  of 
circumstances  that  brought  these  objects  to  him,  if  his 
imagination  did  not  extend  his  horizon  far  beyond  the 
limits  of  his  actual  personal  existence,  and  thus  enable 
him  to  construct  the  whole  out  of  the  little  that  comes 
into  his  own  actual  apperception,  and  so  to  let  almost  all 
possible  scenes  of  life  pass  tiefore  him  in  his  own  con- 
sciousness. Further,  the  actual  objects  are  almost  always 
very  imperfect  copies  of  the  Ideas  expressed  in  them; 
therefore  the  man  of  genius  requires  imagination  in  order 
to  see  in  things,  not  that  which  Nature  has  actually  made, 
but  that  which  she  endeavoured  to  make,  yet  could  not 
because  of  that  conflict  of  her  forms  among  themselves 
which  we  referred  to  in  the  last  book  We  shall  return 
to  this  farther  on  in  treating  of  sculpture.  The  imagi- 
nation then  extends  the  intellectual  horizon  of  the  man  of 
genius  beyond  the  objects  which  actually  present  them- 
selves to  him,  both  as  regards  quality  and  quantity. 
Therefore  extraordinary  strength  of  imagination  accom-, 
panies,  and  is  indeed  a  necessary  condition  of  genius. 
But  the  converse  does  not  hold,  for  strength  of  imagi- 
vol.  1.  n 


242  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  bk.  hi. 

nation  does  not  indicate  genius  ;  on  the  contrary,  men  who 
have  no  touch  of  genius  may  have  much  imagination. 
For  as  it  is  possible  to  consider  a  real  object  in  two 
opposite  ways,  purely  objectively,  the  way  of  genius 
grasping  its  Idea,  or  in  the  common  way,  merely  in  the 
relations  in  which  it  stands  to  other  objects  and  to  one's 
own  will,  in  accordance  with  the  principle  of  sufficient 
reason,  it  is  also  possible  to  perceive  an  imaginary  object 
in  both  of  these  ways.  Regarded  in  the  first  way,  it  is  a 
means  to  the  knowledge  of  the  Idea,  the  communication 
of  which  is  the  work  of  art;  in  the  second  case,  the 
imaginary  object  is  U3ed  to  build  castles  in  the  air 
congenial  to  egotism  and  the  individual  humour,  and 
which  for  the  moment  delude  and  gratify ;  thus  only  the 
relations  of  the  phantasies  so  linked  together  are  known. 
The  man  who  indulges  in  such  an  amusement  is  a 
dreamer ;  he  will  easily  mingle  those  fancies  that  delight 
his  solitude  with  reality,  and  so  unfit  himself  for  real 
life:  perhaps  he  will  write  them  down,  and  then  we 
shall  have  the  ordinary  novel  of  every  description,  which 
entertains  those  who  are  like  him  and  the  public  at  large, 
for  the  readers  imagine  themselves  in  the  place  of  the 
hero,  and  then  find  the  story  very  agreeable. 

The  common  mortal,  that  manufacture  of  Nature  which 
she  produces  by  the  thousand  every  day,  is,  as  we  have 
said,  not  capable,  at  least  not  continuously  so,  of  obser- 
vation that  in  every  sense  is  wholly  disinterested,  as 
sensuous  contemplation,  strictly  so  called,  is.  He  can 
turn  his  attention  to  things  only  so  far  as  they  have 
some  relation  to  his  will,  however  indirect  it  may  be. 
Since  in  this  respect,  which  never  demands  anything  but 
the  knowledge  of  relations,  the  abstract  conception  of  the 
thing  is  sufficient,  and  for  the  most  part  even  better 
adapted  for  use ;  the  ordinary  man  does  not  linger  long 
over  the  mere  perception,  does  not  fix  his  attention  long 
on  one  object,  but  in  all  that  is  presented  to  him  hastily 
seeks  merely  the  concept  under  which  it  is  to  be  brought. 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA  ':  THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.     243 

as  the  lazy  man  seeks  a  chair,  and  then  it  interests  him 
no  further.     This  is  why  he  is  so  soon  done  with  every- 
thing, with  works  of  art,  objects  of  natural  beauty,  and 
indeed  everywhere  with  the  truly  significant  contempla- 
tion of  all  the  scenes  of  life.     He  does  not  linger ;   only 
seeks  to  know  his  own  way  in  life,  together  with  all  that 
might  at  any  time  become  his  way.     Thus  he  makes  topo- 
graphical notes  in  the  widest  sense ;  over  the  considera- 
tion of  life  itself  as  such  he  wastes  no  time.     The  man 
of  genius,  on  the  other  hand,  whose  excessive  power  of 
knowledge   frees   it    at  times  from  the  service  of  will, 
dwells  on  the  consideration  of  life  itself,  strives  to  com- 
prehend the  Idea  of  each  thing,  not  its  relations  to  other 
things ;  and  in  doing  this  he  often  forgets  to  consider  his 
own  path  in  life,  and  therefore  for  the  most  part  pursues 
it  awkwardly  enough.     While  to  the  ordinary  man  his 
faculty  of  knowledge  is  a  lamp  to  lighten  his  path,  to  the 
man  of  genius   it  is  the  sun  which  reveals  the  world. 
This  great  diversity  in  their  way  of  looking  at  life  soon 
becomes  visible  in  the  outward  appearance  both  of  the 
man  of  genius  and  of  the  ordinary  mortal.     The  man  in 
whom  genius  lives  and  works  is  easily  distinguished  by 
his  glance,  which  is  both  keen  and  steady,  and  bears  the 
stamp  of  perception,  of  contemplation.    This  is  easily  seen 
from  the  likenesses  of  the  few  men  of  genius  whom  Nature 
has  produced  here  and  there  among  countless  millions. 
On  the  other  hand,  in  the  case  of  an  ordinary  man,  the 
true  object  of  his  contemplation,  what  he  is  prying  into, 
can  be  easily  seen  from  his  glance,  if  indeed  it  is  not 
quite  stupid  and  vacant,  as  is  generally  the  case.     There- 
fore  the  expression  of  genius  in  a  face  consists  in  this, 
tnat  injt  a  decided  predominance  of  knowledge  over  will 
is  visible,  and  consequently  there  also  shows  itself  in  iT 
qJguMglfidf^Jjhat.  is  entirely  devoid  of  rfilatimLJO-™!!, 
hL^pure  knowing.      On  the  contraiy,  in  ordinary  counte- 
nances there  is  a  predominant  expression  of  will;  and 
?re  see  that  Jcnowledge  only  comes  into  activity  under 


244  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  bk.  hi. 

thejmjmlae-fll—sadll,  and   thus    is    directed  merely  by 
motives. 

Since  the  knowledge  that  pertains  to  genius,  or  the 
knowledge  of  Ideas,  is  that  knowledge  which  does  not 
follow  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason,  so,  on  the  other 
hand,  the  knowledge  which  does  follow,  that  principle  is 
that  which  gives  us  prudence  and  raJiojiality_in_life,  and 
which  creates  the  sciences.     Thus  men  of  genius  are 
affected  with  the  deficiencies  entailed  in  the  neglect  of 
this  latter  kind  of  knowledge.     Yet  what  I  say  in  this 
regard  is  subject  to  the  limitation  that  it  only  concerns 
them  in  so  far  as  and  while  they  are  actually  engaged 
in  that  kind  of  knowledge  which  is  peculiar  to  genius ; 
and  this  is  by  no  means  at  every  moment  of  their  lives, 
for  the  great  though  spontaneous  exertion  which  is  de- 
manded for  the  comprehension  of  Ideas  free  from  will 
must  necessarily  relax,  and  there  are  long  intervals  during 
which  men  of  genius  are  placed  in  very  much  the  same 
position  as  ordinary  mortals,  both  as  regards  advantages 
and  deficiencies.     On  this  account  the  action  of  genius 
has  always  been  regarded  as  an  inspiration,  as  indeed  the 
name  indicates,  as  the  action   of   o,   superhuman   being 
distinct  from  the   individual   himself,  and  which  takes 
possession  of  him  only  periodically.     The  disinclination 
of  men  of  genius  to  direct  their  attention  to  the  content 
of  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason  will  first  show  itself, 
with  regard  to  the  ground  of  being,  as  foslike  of  mathe- 
matics ;  for  its  procedure  is  based  upon  the  most  universal 
forms   of   the   phenomenon    space  and  time,  which  are 
themselves  merely  modes  of  the  principle  of  sufficient 
reason,  and  is  consequently  precisely  the  opposite  of  that 
method  of  thought  which  seeks  merely  the  content  of 
the  phenomenon,  the  Idea  which  expresses  itself  in  it 
apart  from  all  relations.     The  logical  method  of  mathe- 
matics  is   also   antagonistic  to   genius,  for   it   does  not 
satisfy  but  obstructs  true  insight,  and  presents  merely  a 
chain  of  conclusions  in  accordance  with  the  principle  of 


lio  m<3#fe**tffr*jl   &4+V4&     ' 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA  :  THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.    245 

the  ground  of  knowing.  The  mental  faculty  upon  which 
it  makes  the  greatest  claim  is  memory,  for  it  is  necessary  / 
to  recollect  all  the  earlier  propositions  which  are  referred  / 
to.  Experience  has  also  proved  that  men  of  great  artis-  # 
tic  genius  have  no  faculty  for  mathematics ;  no  man  was 
ever  very  distinguished  for  both.  Alfieri  relates  that 
he  was  never  able  to  understand  the  fourth  proposition 
of  Euclid.  Goethe  was  constantly  reproached  with  his 
want  of  mathematical  knowledge  by  the  ignorant  oppo- 
nents of  his  theory  of  colours.  Here  certainly,  where  it 
was  not  a  question  of  calculation  and  measurement  upon 
hypothetical  data,  but  of  direct  knowledge  by  the  under- 
standing of  causes  and  effects,  this  reproach  was  so 
utterly  absurd  and  inappropriate,  that  by  making  it  they 
have  exposed  their  entire  want  of  judgment,  just  as  much 
as  by  the  rest  of  their  ridiculous  arguments.  The  fact 
that  up  to  the  present  day,  nearly  half  a  century  after 
the  appearance  of  Goethe's  theory  of  colours,  even  in 
Germany  the  Newtonian  fallacies  still  have  undisturbed 
possession  of  the  professorial  chair,  and  men  continue  to 
speak  quite  seriously  of  the  seven  homogeneous  rays  of 
light  and  their  different  ref'rangibility,  will  some  day  be 
numbered  among  the  great  intellectual  peculiarities  of 
men  generally,  and  especially  of  Germans.  From  the 
same  cause  as  we  have  referred  to  above,  may  be  ex- 
plained the  equally  well-known  fact  that,  conversely, 
admirable  mathematicians  have  very  little  susceptibility 
for  works  of  fine  art.  This  is  very  naively  expressed  in 
the  well-known  anecdote  of  the  French  mathematician, 
who,  after  having  read  Racine's  "  Iphigenia,"  shrugged  his 
shoulders  and  asked,  "  Quest  ce  que  cela  prouve  ? "  Fur- 
ther, as  quick  comprehension  of  relations  in  accordance 
with  the  laws  of  causality  and  motivation  is  what  spe- 
cially constitutes  prudence  or  sagacity,  a  .prudent  man, 
so  far  as  and  while  he  is  so,  will  not  be  a  genius,  and  a 
manof  genius^so  far  as  and  while  he  is  so,  will  not  be 
a  prudent  man.     Lastly,  perceptive  knowledge  generally, 


246  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  bk.  hi. 

in  the  province  of  which  the  Idea  always  lies,  is  directly 
opposed  to  rational  or  abstract  knowledge,  which  is 
guided  by  the  principle  of  the  ground  of  knowing.  It  is 
also  well  known  that  we  seldom  find  great  genius  united 
with  pre-eminent  reasonableness ;  on  the  contrary,,  per- 
qoivi  nf  gpnius  are  often  rii  bjftpt- Jfij^gp*  p-ra^fa'""**  «"d 
irrational  passions.  But  the  ground  of  this  is  not  weak- 
ness of  reason,  but  partly  unwonted  energy  of  that  whole 
phenomenon  of  will — the  man  of  genius — which  ex- 
presses itself  through  the  violence  of  all  his  acts  of  will, 
and  partly  preponderance  of  the  knowledge  of  percep- 
tion through  the  senses  and  understanding  over  abstract 
knowledge,  producing  a  decided  tendency  to  the  per- 
ceptible, the  exceedingly  lively  impressions  of  which  so 
far  outshine  colourless  concepts,  that  they  take  their 
place  in  the  guidance  of  action,  which  consequently 
becomes  irrational.  Accordingly  the  impression  of*  the 
present  moment  is  very  strong  with  such  persons,  and 
carries  them  away  into  unconsidered  action,  violent 
emotions  and  passions.  Moreover,  since,  in  general,  the 
knowledge  of  persons  of  genius  has  to  some  extent  freed 
itself  from  the  service  of  will,  they  will  not  in  conversa- 
tion think  so  much  of  the  person  they  are  addressing  as 
of  the  thing  they  are  speaking  about,  which  is  vividly 
present  to  them ;  and  therefore  they  are  likely  to  judge 
or  narrate  things  too  objectively  for  their  own  inte- 
rests ;  they  will  not  pass  over  in  silence  what  would  more 
prudently  be  concealed,  and  so  forth.  Finally,  they  are 
given  to  soliloquising,  and  in  general  may  exhibit  certain 
weaknesses  which  are  actually  akin  to  madness.  It  has 
often  been  remarked  that  there  is  a_side  at  which  genius 
and_madness  touch,  and  even  pass  over  into  each  other, 
and  indeed  poetical  inspiration  has  been  called  a  kind  of 
madness :  amabilis  insania,  Horace  calls  it  (Od.  iii.  4), 
and  Wieland  in  the  introduction  to  "  Oberon  "  speaks  of 
it  as  "  amiable  madness."  Even  Aristotle,  as  quoted  by 
Seneca  (De  Tranq.  Animi,   15,    16),  is  reported  to  have 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA  :   THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.    247 

said:  Nullum  magnum  ingenium  sine  mixtura  dementico 
fuit.  Plato  expresses  it  in  the  figure  of  the  dark  cave, 
referred  to  above  (De  Eep.  7),  when  he  says :  "  Those  who, 
outside  the  cave,  have  seen  the  true  sunlight  and  the 
things  that  have  true  being  (Ideas),  cannot  afterwards  see 
properly  down  in  the  cave,  because  their  eyes  are  not 
accustomed  to  the  darkness ;  they  cannot  distinguish  the 
shadows,  and  are  jeered  at  for  their  mistakes  by  those 
who  have  never  left  the  cave  and  its  shadows."  In  the 
"  Phsedrus  "  also  (p.  3 1 7),  he  distinctly  says  that  there 
can  be  no  true  poet  without  a  certain  madness ;  in  fact, 
(p.  327),  that  every  one  appears  mad  who  recognises  the 
eternal  Ideas  in  fleeting  things.  Cicero  also  quotes: 
Negat  enim  sine  furore,  Democritus,  quemquam  poetam 
magnum  esse  posse ;  quod  idem  dicit  Plato  (De  Divin.,  i 
37).     And,  lastly,  Pope  says — 

"  Great  wits  to  madness  sure  are  near  allied, 
And  thin  partitions  do  their  bounds  divide." 

Especially  instructive  in  this  respect  is  Goethe's  "  Torquato 
Tasso,"  in  which  he  shows  us  not  only  the  suffering,  the 
martyrdom  of  genius  as  such,  but  also  how  it  constantly 
passes  into  madness.  Finally,  the  fact  of  the  direct  connec- 
tion of  genius  and  madness  is  established  by  the  biographies 
of  great  men  of  genius,  such  as  Rousseau,  Byron,  and  Alfieri, 
and  by  anecdotes  from  the  lives  of  others.  On  the  other 
hand,  I  must  mention  that,  by  a  diligent  search  in  lunatic 
asylums,  I  have  found  individual  cases  of  patients  who 
were  unquestionably  endowed  with  great  talents,  and 
whose  genius  distinctly  appeared  through  their  madness, 
which,  however,  had  completely  gained  the  upper  hand. 
Now  this  cannot  be  ascribed  to  chance,  for  on  the  one 
hand  the  number  of  mad  persons  is  relatively  very  small, 
and  on  the  other  hand  a  person  of  genius  is  a  pheno- 
menon which  is  rare  beyond  all  ordinary  estimation,  and 
only  appears  in  nature  as  the  greatest  exception.  It  will 
be  sufficient  to  convince  us  of  this  if  we  compare  the 


248  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  bk.  iil 

number  of  really  great  men  of  genius  that  the  whole  of 
civilised  Europe  has  produced,  botli  in  ancient  and  modern 
times,  with  the  two  hundred  and  fifty  millions  who  are 
always  living  in  Europe,  and  who  change  entirely  every 
thirty  years.  In  estimating  the  number  of  men  of  out- 
standing genius,  we  must  of  course  only  count  those  who 
have  produced  works  which  have  retained  through  all  time 
an  enduring  value  for  mankind.  I  shall  not  refrain  from 
mentioning,  that  I  have  known  some  persons  of  decided, 
though  not  remarkable,  mental  superiority,  who  also 
showed  a  slight  trace  of  insanity.  It  might  seem  from 
this  that  every  advance  of  intellect  beyond  the  ordinary 
measure,  as  an  abnormal  development,  disposes  to  mad- 
ness. In  the  meantime,  however,  I  will  explain  as 
briefly  as  possible  my  view  of  the  purely  intellectual 
ground  of  the  relation  between  genius  and  madness,  for 
tins  will  certainly  assist  the  explanation  of  the  real 
nature  of  genius,  that  is  to  say,  of  that  mental  endow- 
ment which  alone  can  produce  genuine  works  of  art. 
But  this  necessitates  a  brief  explanation  of  madness 
itself.1 

A  clear  and  complete  insight  into  the  nature  of  mad- 
ness, a  correct  and  distinct  conception  of  what  constitutes 
the  difference  between  the  sane  and  the  insane,  has,  as 
far  as  I  know,  not  as  yet  been  found.  Neither  reason 
nor  understanding  can  be  denied  to  madmen,  for  they 
talk  and  understand,  and  often  draw  very  accurate  con- 
clusions ;  they  also,  as  a  rule,  perceive  what  is  present 
quite  correctly,  and  apprehend  the  connection  between 
cause  and  effect.  Visions,  like  the  phantasies  of  delirium, 
are  no  ordinary  symptom  of  madness :  delirium  falsifies 
perception,  madness  the  thoughts.  For  the  most  part, 
madmen  do  not  err  in  the  knowledge  of  what  is  imme- 
diately present;  their  raving  always  relates  to  what  is 
absent  and  past,  and  only  through  these  to  their  connection 
with  what   is  present.     Therefore  it  seems  to  me  that 

1  Cf.  Chap.  xxxi.  of  the  Supplement. 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA  :  THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.    249 

their  malady  specially  concerns  the  memory ;  not  indeed 
that  memory  fails  them  entirely,  for  many  of  them  know 
a  great  deal  by  heart,  and  sometimes  recognise  persons 
whom  they  have  not  seen  for  a  long  time ;  but  rather 
that  the  thread  of  memory  is  broken,  the  continuity  of 
its  connection  destroyed,  and  no  uniformly  connected 
recollection  of  the  past  is  possible.  Particular  scenes  of 
the  past  are  known  correctly,  just  like  the  particular 
present ;  but  there  are  gaps  in  their  recollection  which 
they  fill  up  with  fictions,  and  these  are  either  always  the 
same,  in  which  case  they  become  ^^fi^d— ideas,  and  the 
madness  that  results  is  called  monomania  or  melancholy ; 
or  they  are  always  different,  momentary  fancies,  and  then 
it  is  called  folly,  fatuitas.  This  is  why  it  is  so  difficult 
to  find  out  their  former  life  from  lunatics  when  they 
enter  an  asylum.  The  true  and  the  false  are  always 
mixed  up  in  their  memory.  Although  the  immediate 
present  is  correctly  known,  it  becomes  falsified  through 
its  fictitious  connection  with  an  imaginary  past;  they 
therefore  regard  themselves  and  others  as  identical  with 
persons  who  exist  only  in  their  imaginary  past ;  they  do 
not  recognise  some  of  their  acquaintances  at  all,  and  thus 
while  they  perceive  correctly  what  is  actually  present, 
they  have  only  false  conceptions  of  its  relations  to  what 
is  absent.  If  the  madness  reaches  a  high  degree,  there 
is  complete  absence  of  memory,  so  that  the  madman  is 
quite  incapable  of  any  reference  to  what  is  absent  or  past, 
and  is  only  determined  by  the  caprice  of  the  moment  in 
connection  with  the  fictions  which,  in  his  mind,  fill  the 
past.  In  such  a  case,  we  are  never  for  a  moment  safe 
from  violence  or  murder,  unless  we  constantly  make  the 
madman  aware  of  the  presence  of  superior  force.  The 
knowledge  of  the  madman  has  this  in  common  with  that 
of  the  brute,  both  are  confined  to  the  present.  What 
distinguishes  them  is  that  the  brute  has  really  no  idea  of 
the  past  as  such,  though  the  past  acts  upon  it  through 
the  medium  of   custom,   so   that,  for  example,  the   dog 


250  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  bk.  of 

recognises  its  former  master  even  after  years,  that  is  to  say, 
it  receives  the  wonted  impression  at  the  sight  of  him ; 
but  of  the  time  that  has  passed  since  it  saw  him  it  has 
no  recollection.  The  madman,  on  the  other  hand,  always 
carries  about  in  his  reason  an  abstract  past,  but  it  is  a 
false  past,  which  exists  only  for  him,  and  that  either  con- 
stantly, or  only  for  the  moment.  The  influence  of  this 
false  past  prevents  the  use  of  the  true  knowledge  of 
the  present  which  the  brute  is  able  to  make.  The  fact 
that  violent  mental  suffering  or  unexpected  and  terrible 
calamities  should  often  produce  madness,  I  explain  in 
the  following  manner.  All  such  suffering  is  as  an  actual 
event  confined  to  the  present.  It  is  thus  merely  transi- 
tory, and  is  consequently  never  excessively  heavy ;  it  only 
becomes  unendnrably  great  when  it  is  lasting  pain ;  but 
as  such  it  exists  only  in  thought,  and  therefore  lies  in 
the  memory.  If  now  such  a  sorrow,  such  painful  know- 
ledge or  reflection,  is  so  bitter  that  it  becomes  altogether 
unbearable,  and  the  individual  is  prostrated  under  it, 
then,  terrified  Nature  seizes  upon  madness  as  the  last 
resource  of  life ;  the  mind  so  fearfully  tortured  at  once 
destroys  the  thread  of  its  memory,  fills  up  the  gaps  with 
fictions,  and  thus  seeks  refuge  in  madness  from  the  men- 
tal suffering  that  exceeds  its  strength,  just  as  we  cut  off 
a  mortified  limb  and  replace  it  with  a  wooden  one.  The 
distracted  Ajax,  King  Lear,  and  Ophelia  may  be  taken 
as  examples ;  for  the  creations  of  true  genius,  to  which 
alone  we  can  refer  here,  as  universally  known,  are  equal 
in  truth  to  real  persons ;  besides,  in  this  case,  frequent 
actual  experience  shows  the  same  thing.  A  faint  analogy 
of  this  kind  of  transition  from  pain  to  madness  is  to  be 
found  in  the  way  in  which  all  of  us  often  seek,  as  it  were 
mechanically,  to  drive  away  a  painful  thought  that  sud- 
denly occurs  to  us  by  some  loud  exclamation  or  quick 
movement — to  turn  ourselves  from  it,  to  distract  our 
minds  by  force. 

We  see,  from  what  has  been  said,  that  the  madman  has 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA  :  THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.    251 

a  true  knowledge  of  what  is  actually  present,  and  also  of 
certain  particulars  of  the  past,  but  that  he  mistakes  the 
connection,  the  relations,  and  therefore  falls  into  error 
and  talks  nonsense.  Now  this  is  exactly  the  point  at 
which  he  comes  into  contact  with  the  man  of  genius ; 
for  he  also  leaves  out  of  sight  the  knowledge  of  the 
connection  of  things/since  he  neglects  that  knowledge 
of  relations  which  conforms  to  the  principle  of  sufficient 
reason,  in  order  to  see  in  things  only  their  Ideas,  and  to 
seek  to  comprehend  their  true  nature,  which  manifests 
itself  to  perception,  and  in  regard  to  which  one  thing 
represents  its  whole  species,  in  which  way,  as  Goethe 
says,  one  case  is  valid  for  a  thousand.  The  particular 
object  of  his  contemplation,  or  the  present  which  is  per- 
ceived by  him  with  extraordinary  vividness,  appear  in  so 
strong  a  light  that  the  other  links  of  the  chain  to  which 
they  belong  are  at  once  thrown  into  the  shade,  and  this 
gives  rise  to  phenomena  which  have  long  been  recognised 
as  resembling  those  of  madness.  That  which  in  particular 
given  things  exists  only  incompletely  and  weakened  by 
modifications,  is  raised  by  the  man  of  genius,  through  his 
way  of  contemplating  it,  to  the  Idea  of  the  thing,  to  com- 
pleteness:  he  therefore  sees  everywhere  extremes,  and 
therefore  his  own  action  tends  to  extremes ;  he  cannot 
hit  the  mean,  he  lacks  soberness,  and  the  result  is  what 
we  have  said.  He  knows  the  Ideas  completely  but  not 
the  individuals.  Therefore  it  has  been  said  that  a  poet 
may  know  mankind  deeply  and  thoroughly,  and  may  yet 
have  a  very  imperfect  knowledge  of  men.  He  is  easily 
deceived,  and  is  a  tool  in  the  hands  of  the  crafty. 

§  37.  Genius,  then,  consists,  according  to  our  explana- 
tion, in  the  capacity  for  knowing,  independently  of  the 
principle  of  sufficient  reason,  not  individual  things,  which 
have  their  existence  only  in  their  relations,  but  the  Ideas 
of  such  things,  and  of  being  oneself  the  correlative  of  the 
Idea,  and  thus  no  longer  an  individual,  but  the  pure  sub- 
ject of  knowledge.     Yet  this  faculty  must  exist  in  all 


252  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  bk.  hi 

men  in  a  smaller  and  different  degree ;  for  if  not,  they 
would  be  just  as  incapable  of  enjoying  works  of  art  as  of 
producing  them ;  they  would  have  no  susceptibility  for 
the  beautiful  or  the  sublime ;  indeed,  these  words  could 
have  no  meaning  for  them.  We  must  therefore  assume 
that  there  exists  in  all  men  this  power  of  knowing  the 
Ideas  in  tilings,  and  consequently  of  transcending  their 
personality  for  the  moment,  unless  indeed  there  are  some 
men  who  are  capable  of  no  aesthetic  pleasure  at  all.  The 
man  of  genius  excels  ordinary  men  only  by  possessing 
this  kind  of  knowledge  in  a  far  higher  degree  and  more 
continuously.  Thus,  while  under  its  influence  he  retains 
the  presence  of  mind  which  is  necessary  to  enable  him  to 
repeat  in  a  voluntary  and  intentional  work  what  he  has 
learned  in  this  manner ;  and  this  repetition  is  the  work 
of  art.  Through  this  he  communicates  to  others  the  Idea 
he  has  grasped.  This  Idea  remains  unchanged  and  the 
same,  so  that  aesthetic  pleasure  is  one  and  the  same 
whether  it  is  called  forth  by  a  work  of  art  or  directly 
by  the  contemplation  of  nature  and  life.  The  work  of 
art  is  only  a  means  of  facilitating  the  knowledge  in  which 
this  pleasure  consists.  That  the  Idea  comes  to  us  more 
easily  from  the  work  of  art  than  directly  from  nature  and 
the  real  world,  arises  from  the  fact  that  the  artist,  who 
knew  only  the  Idea,  no  longer  the  actual,  has  reproduced 
in  his  work  the  pure  Idea,  has  abstracted  it  from  the 
actual,  omitting  all  disturbing  accidents.  The  artist  lets 
us  see  the  world  through  his  eyes.  That  he  has  these 
eyes,  that  he  knows  the  inner  nature  of  things  apart  from 
all  their  relations,  is  the  gift  of  genius,  is  inborn;  but 
that  he  is  able  to  lend  us  this  gift,  to  let  us  see  with  his 
eyes,  is  acquired,  and  is  the  technical  side  of  art.  There- 
fore, after  the  account  which  I  have  given  in  the  preced- 
ing pages  of  the  inner  nature  of  aesthetical  knowledge  in 
its  most  general  outlines,  the  following  more  exact  philo- 
sophical treatment  of  the  beautiful  and  the  sublime  will 
explain  them  both,  in  nature  and  in  art,  without  separating 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA:   THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.    253 

them  further.  First  of  all  we  shall  consider  what  takes 
place  in  a  man  when  he  is  affected  by  the  beautiful  and 
the  sublime;  whether  he  derives  this  emotion  directly 
from  nature,  from  life,  or  partakes  of  it  only  through  the 
medium  of  art,  does  not  make  any  essential,  but  merely 
an  external,  difference. 

§  38.  In  the  sesthetical  mode  of  contemplation  we 
have  found  two  inseparable  constituent  parts — the  know- 
ledge of  the  object,  not  as  individual  thing  but  as 
^Platonic  Idea,  that  is,  as  the  enduring  form  of  this  whole 
species  of  things;  and  the  self-consciousness  of  the  know- 
ing., person,  not  as  individual,  but  as  pure  will-less  subject 
of  knowledge.  The  condition  under  which  both  these 
constituent  parts  appear  always  united  was  found  to 
be  the  abandonment  of  the  method  of  knowing  which  is 
bound  to  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason,  and  which,  on 
the  other  hand,  is  the  only  kind  of  knowledge  that  is  of 
value  for  the  service  of  the  will  and  also  for  science. 
Moreover,  we  shall  see  that  the  pleasure  which  is  pro- 
duced by  the  contemplation  of  the  beautiful  arises  from 
these  two  constituent  parts,  sometimes  more  from  the 
one,  sometimes  more  from  the  other,  according  to  what 
the  object  of  the  sesthetical  contemplation  may  be. 

All  willinn  aaaflfl  from  want,  therefore  from  deficiency, 
andJJHTQfrrp  froip  suffering,  The  satisfaction  of  a  wish 
ends  it ;  yet  for  one  wish  that  is  satisfied  there  remain 
at  least  ten  which  are  denied.  Further,  the  desire  lasts 
long,  the  demands  are  infinite ;  the  satisfaction  is  short 
and  scantily  measured  out.  But  even  the  final  satisfac- 
tion is  itself  only  apparent ;  every  satisfied  wish  at  once 
makes  room  for  a  new  one ;  both  are  illusions ;  the  one 
is  known  to  be  so,  the  other  not  yet.  No  attained 
object  of  desire  can  give  lasting  satisfaction,  but  merely 
a  fleeting  gratification ;  it  is  like  the  alms  thrown  to  the 
beggar,  that  keeps  him  alive  to-day  that  his  misery  may 
be  prolonged  till  the  morrow.  Therefore,  so  long  as  our 
consciousness  is  filled  by   our  will,  so  long  as  we  are 


2*4  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  bk.  iil 

given  up  to  the  throng  of  desires  with  their  constant 
f  hopes  and  fears,  so  long  as  we  are  the  subject  of  willing, 
I  we  can  never  have  lasting  happiness  nor  peace.  It  is 
essentially  all  the  same  whether  we  pursue  or  flee,  fear 
injury  or  seek  enjoyment ;  the  care  for  the  constant 
demands  of  the  will,  in  whatever  form  it  may  be,  con- 
tinually occupies  and  sways  the  consciousness ;  but 
without  peace  no  true  well-being  is  possible.  The  sub- 
ject of  willing  is  thus  constantly  stretched  on  the 
revolving  wheel  of  Ixion,  pours  water  into  the  sieve  of 
the  Danaids,  is  the  ever-longing  Tantalus. 

But  when  some  external  cause  or  inward  disposition 
lifts  us  suddenly  out  of  the  endless  stream  of  willing, 
delivers  knowledge  from  the  slavery  of  the  will,  the  at- 
tention is  no  longer  directed  to  the  motives  of  willing, 
but  comprehends  things  free  from  their  relation  to  the 
will,  and  thus  observes  them  without  personal  interest, 
without  subjectivity,  purely  objectively,  gives  itself  en- 
tirely up  to  them  so  far  as  they  are  ideas,  but  not  in  so 
far  as  they  are  motives.  Then  all  at  once  the  peace 
which  we  were  always  seeking,  but  which  always  lied 
from  us  on  the  former  path  of  the  desires,  comes  to  us 
of  its  own  accord,  and  it  is  well  with  us.  It  is  the  pain- 
less state  which  Epicurus  prized  as  the  highest  good  and 
as  the  state  of  the  gods ;  for  wre  are  for  the  moment  set 
free  from  the  miserable  striving  of  the  will ;  we  keep  the 
Sabbath  of  the  penal  servitude  of  willing ;  the  wheel  of 
Ixion  stands  still. 

But  this  is  just  the  state  which  I  described  above  as 
necessary  for  the  knowledge  of  the  Idea,  as  pure  contem- 
plation, as  sinking  oneself  in  perception,  losing  oneself  in 
the  object,  forgetting  all  individuality,  surrendering  that 
kind  of  knowledge  which  follows  the  principle  of  suffi- 
cient reason,  ana\  comprehends  only  relational  the  state 
by  means  of  which  at  once  and  inseparably  the  perceived 
particular  thing  is  raised  to  the  Idea  of  its  whole  species, 
and  the  knowing  individual  to  the  pure  subject  of  will- 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA  :  THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.    255 

less  knowledge,  and  as  such  they  are  both  taken  out  of 
the  stream  of  time  and  all  other  relations.  It  is  then  all 
one  whether  we  see  the  sun  set  from  the  prison  or  from 
the  palace. 

Inward  disposition,  the  predominance  of  knowing  over 
willing,  can  produce  this  state  under  any  circumstances. 
This  is  shown  by  those  admirable  Dutch  artists  who 
directed  this  purely  objective  perception  to  the  most 
insignificant  objects,  and  established  a  lasting  monument 
of  their  objectivity  and  spiritual  peace  in  their  pictures 
of  still  life,  which  the  aesthetic  beholder  does  not  look  on 
without  emotion;  for  they  present  to  him  the  peaceful, 
still,  frame  of  mind  of  the  artist,  free  from  will,  which 
was  needed  to  contemplate  such  insignificant  things  so 
objectively,  to  observe  them  so  attentively,  and  to  repeat 
this  perception  so  intelligently  ;  and  as  the  picture  enables 
the  onlooker  to  participate  in  this  state,  his  emotion  is 
often  increased  by  the  contrast  between  it  and  the  un- 
quiet frame  of  mind,  disturbed  by  vehement  willing,  in 
which  he  finds  himself.  In  the  same  spirit,  landscape- 
painters,  and  particularly  Euisdael,  have  often  painted 
very  insignificant  country  scenes,  which  produce  the  same 
effect  even  more  agreeably. 

All  this  is  accomplished  by  the  inner  power  of  an 
artistic  nature  alone ;  but  that  purely  objective  disposi- 
tion is  facilitated  and  assisted  from  without  by  suitable 
objects,  by  the  abundance  of  natural  beauty  which  invites 
contemplation,  and  even  presses  itself  upon  us.  When- 
ever it  discloses  itself  suddenly  to  our  view,  it  almost 
always  succeeds  in  delivering  us,  though  it  may  be  only 
for  a  moment,  from  subjectivity,  from  the  slavery  of  the 
will,  and  in  raising  us  to  the  state  of  pure  knowing. 
This  is  why  the  man  who  is  tormented  by  passion,  or 
want,  or  care,  is  so  suddenly  revived,  cheered,  and  restored 
by  a  single  free  glance  into  nature :  the  storm  of  passion, 
the  pressure  of  desire  and  fear,  and  all  the  miseries  of 
willing  are  then  at  once,  and  in  a  marvellous  manner, 


256  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  bk.  hi. 

calmed  and  appeased.  For  at  the  moment  at  which, 
freed  from  the  will,  we  give  ourselves  up  to  pure  will- 
less  knowing,  we  pass  into  a  world  from  which  every- 
thing is  absent  that  influenced  our  will  and  moved  us 
so  violently  through  it.  This  freeing  of  knowledge  lifts 
us  as  wholly  and  entirely  away  from  all  that,  as  do 
sleep  and  dreams ;  happiness  and  unhappiness  have  dis- 
appeared ;  we  are  no  longer  individual ;  the  individual  is 
forgotten ;  we  are  only  pure  subject  of  knowledge ;  we  are 
only  that  one  eye  of  the  world  which  looks  out  from  all 
knowing  creatures,  but  which  can  become  perfectly  free 
from  the  service  of  will  in  man  alone.  Thus  all  difference 
of  individuality  so  entirely  disappears,  that  it  is  all  the 
same  whether  the  perceiving  eye  belongs  to  a  mighty 
king  or  to  a  wretched  beggar ;  for  neither  joy  nor  com- 
plaining can  pass  that  boundary  with  us.  So  near  us 
always  lies  a  sphere  in  which  we  escape  from  all  our 
misery  ;  but  who  has  the  strength  to  continue  long  in  it  ? 
As  soon  as  any  single  relation  to  our  will,  to  our  person, 
even  of  these  objects  of  our  pure  contemplation,  comes 
again  into  consciousness,  the  magic  is  at  an  end ;  we  fall 
back  into  the  knowledge  which  is  governed  by  the  prin- 
ciple of  sufficient  reason ;  we  know  no  longer  the  Idea, 
but  the  particular  thing,  the  link  of  a  chain  to  which  we 
also  belong,  and  we  are  again  abandoned  to  all  our  woe. 
Most  men  remain  almost  always  at  this  standpoint 
because  they  entirely  lack  objectivity,  i.e.,  genius.  There- 
fore they  have  no  pleasure  in  being  alone  with  nature ; 
they  need  company,  or  at  least  a  book.  For  their 
knowledge  remains  subject  to  their  will ;  they  seek,  there- 
fore, in  objects,  only  some  relation  to  their  will,  and  when- 
ever they  see  anything  that  has  no  such  relation,  there 
sounds  within  them,  like  a  ground  bass  in  music,  the 
constant  inconsolable  cry,  "  It  is  of  no  use  to  me ; "  thus 
in  solitude  the  most  beautiful  surroundings  have  for  them 
a  desolate,  dark,  strange,  and  hostile  appearance. 

Lastly,   it    is  this   blessedness  of  will-less  perception 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA  :  THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.     257 

which  casts  an  enchanting  glamour  over  the  past  and 
distant,  and  presents  them  to  us  in  so  fair  a  light  by 
means  of  self-deception.  Tor  as  we  think  of  days  long 
gone  by,  days  in  which  we  lived  in  a  distant  place,  it  is 
only  the  objects  which  our  fancy  recalls,  not  the  sub- 
ject of  will,  which  bore  about  with  it  then  its  incurable 
sorrows  just  as  it  bears  them  now ;  but  they  are  forgotten, 
because  since  then  they  have  often  given  place  to  others. 
Now,  objective  perception  acts  with  regard  to  what  is 
remembered  just  as  it  would  in  what  is  present,  if  we 
let  it  have  influence  over  us,  if  we  surrendered  ourselves 
to  it  free  from  will.  Hence  it  arises  that,  especially 
when  we  are  more  than  ordinarily  disturbed  by  some 
want,  the  remembrance  of  past  and  distant  scenes 
suddenly  flits  across  our  minds  like  a  lost  paradise. 
The  fancy  recalls  only  what  was  objective,  not  what  was 
individually  subjective,  and  we  imagine  that  that  objec- 
tive stood  before  us  then  just  as  pure  and  undisturbed 
by  any  relation  to  the  will  as  its  image  stands  in  our 
fancy  now ;  while  in  reality  the  relation  of  the  objects 
to  our  will  gave  us  pain  then  just  as  it  does  now.  We 
can  deliver  ourselves  from  all  suffering  just  as  well 
through  present  objects  as  through  distant  ones  when- 
ever we  raise  ourselves  to  a  purely  objective  contempla- 
tion of  them,  and  so  are  able  to  bring  about  the  illusion 
that  only  the  objects  are  present  and  not  we  ourselves. 
Then,  as  the  pure  subject  of  knowledge,  freed  from  the 
miserable  self,  we  become  entirely  one  with  these  objects, 
and,  for  the  moment,  our  wants  are  as  foreign  to  us  as 
they  are  to  them.  The  world  as  idea  alone  remains,  and 
the  world  as  will  has  disappeared.  ,     , 

In  all  these  reflections  it  has  been  my  object  to  bring 
out  clearly  the  nature  and  the  scope  of  the  subjective 
element  in  aesthetic  pleasure  -  the  deliverance  of  know- 
ledge from  the  service  of  the  will,  the  forgetting  of  self 
as  an  individual,  and  the  raising  of  the  consciousness  to 
the  pure  will-less,  timeless,  subject  of  knowledge,  in( 

vol.  I.  B 


i w>1  r ' 


258 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  bk.  hi. 


_£endent  oQall  relations/)  With  this  subjective  side  of 
aesthetic  contemplation,  there  must  always  appear  as  its 
necessary  correlative  the  objective  side,  the  intuitive 
comprehension  of  the  Platonic  Idea.  But  before  we 
turn  to  the  closer  consideration  of  this,  and  to  the 
achievements  of  art  in  relation  to  it,  it  is  better  that  we 
should  pause  for  a  little  at  the  subjective  side  of  aesthetic 
pleasure,  in  order  to  complete  our  treatment  of  this  by 
explaining  the  impression  of  the  sublime  which  depends 
altogether  upon  it,  and  arises  from  a  modification  of 
it.  After  that  we  shall  complete  our  investigation  of 
aesthetic  pleasure  by  considering  its  objective  side. 

But  we  must  first  add  the  following  remarks  to  what 
has  been  said.  Light  is  the  pleasantest  and  most  glad- 
dening of  things  ;  it  has  become  the  symbol  of  all  that 
is  good  and  salutary.  In  all  religions  it  symbolises  sal-  H 
vation,  while  darkness  symbolises  damnation.  Ormuzd  < 
dwells  in  the  purest  light,  Ahrimines  in  eternal  night. 
Dante's  Paradise  would  look  very  much  like  Vauxhall 
in  London,  for  all  the  blessed  spirits  appear  as  points  of 
light  and  arrange  themselves  in  regular  figures.  The 
very  absence  of  light  makes  us  sad ;  its  return  cheers  us. 
Colours  excite  directly  a  keen  delight,  which  readies  its 
highest  degree  when  they  are  transparent.  All  this  de- 
pends entirely  upon  the  fact  that  light  is  the  correlative 
and  condition  of  the  most  perfect  kind  of  knowledge  of 
perception,  the  only  knowledge  which  does  not  in  any 
way  affect  the  wilL  For  sight,  unlike  the  affections  of 
the  other  senses,  cannot,  in  itself,  directly  and  through  its 
sensuous  effect,  make  the  sensation  of  the  special  organ 
agreeable  or  disagreeable ;  that  is,  it  has  no  immediate 
connection  with  the  will.  Such  a  quality  can  only  be- 
long to  the  perception  which  arises  in  the  understanding, 
and  then  it  lies  in  the  relation  of  the  object  to  the  wilL 
In  the  case  of  hearing  this  is  to  some  extent  otherwise; 
sounds  can  give  pain  directly,  and  they  may  also  be 
sensuously   agreeable,   directly    and    without    regard    to 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA  :  THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.    259 

harmony  or  melody.  Touch,  as  one  with  the  feeling  of 
the  whole  body,  is  still  more  subordinated  to  this  direct 
influence  upon  the  will ;  and  yet  there  is  such  a  thing  as 
a  sensation  of  touch  which  is  neither  painful  nor  pleasant. 
But  smells  are  always  either  agreeable  or  disagreeable, 
and  tastes  still  more  so.  Thus  the  last  two  senses  are 
most  closely  related  to  the  will,  and  therefore  they  are 
always  the  most  ignoble,  and  have  been  called  by  Kant 
the  subjective  senses.  The  pleasure  which  we  experience 
from  light  is  in  fact  only  the  pleasure  which  arises 
from  the  objective  possibility  of  the  purest  and  fullest 
perceptive  knowledge,  and  as  such  it  may  be  traced  to  the 
fact  that  pure  knowledge,  freed  and  delivered  from  all 
will,  is  in  the  highest  degree  pleasant,  and  of  itself  con- 
stitutes a  large  part  of  aesthetic  enjoyment.  Again,  we 
must  refer  to  this  view  of  light  the  incredible  beauty 
which  we  associate  with  the  reflection  of  objects  in  water. 
That  lightest,  quickest,  finest  species  of  the  action  of 
bodies  upon  each  other,  that  to  which  we  owe  by  far  the 
completest  and  purest  of  our  perceptions,  the  action  of 
reflected  rays  of  light,  is  here  brought  clearly  before  our 
eyes,  distinct  and  perfect,  in  cause  and  in  effect,  and 
indeed  in  its  entirety,  hence  the  aesthetic  delight  it  gives 
us,  which,  in  the  most  important  aspect,  is  entirely  based 
on  the  subjective  ground  of  aesthetic  pleasure,  and  is 
delight  in  pure  knowing  and  its  method. 

§  39.  All  these  reflections  are  intended  to  bring  out 
the  subjective  part  of  aesthetic  pleasure ;  that  is  to  say, 
that  pleasure  so  far  as  it  consists  simply  of  delight  in  jDer- 

c§I^JI£j^°^?^^  And  as 

directly  connected  with  this,  there  naturally  follows  the 
explanation  of  that  disposition  or  frame  of  mind  which 
has  been  called  the  sp.nsp.  nf  thn  $>ihUmr._ 

We  have  already  remarked  above  that  the  transition  to 
the  state  of  pure  perception  takes  place  most  easily  when 
the  objects  bend  themselves  to  it,  that  is,  when  by  their 
manifold  and  yet  definite  and  distinct  form  they  easily 


260  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  BK.  HI. 

become  representatives  of  their  Ideas,  in  which  beauty,  in 
the  objective  sense,  consists.  This  quality  belongs  pre- 
eminently to  natural  beauty,  which  thus  affords  even  to 
the  most  insensible  at  least  a  fleeting  aesthetic  satisfaction : 
indeed  it  is  so  remarkable  how  especially  the  vegetable 
world  invites  aesthetic  observation,  and,  as  it  were, 
presses  itself  upon  it,  that  one  might  say,  that  these 
advances  are  connected  with  the  fact  that  these  organisms, 
unlike  the  bodies  of  animals,  are  not  themselves  immediate 
objects  of  knowledge,  and  therefore  require  the  assistance 
of  a  foreign  intelligent  individual  in  order  to  rise  out  of 
fh£  wnr1^  nf  blind  will  and  enter  the  world  of  idea,  and 
that  thus  they  long,  as  it  were,  for  this  entrance,  that 
they  may  attain  at  least  indirectly  what  is  denied  them 
directly.  But  I  leave  this  suggestion  which  I  have 
hazarded,  and  which  borders  perhaps  upon  extravagance, 
entirely  undecided,  for  only  a  very  intimate  and  devoted 
consideration  of  nature  can  raise  or  justify  it.1  As  long  as 
that  which  raises  us  from  the  knowledge  of  mere  relations 
subject  to  the  will,  to  aesthetic  contemplation,  and  thereby 
exalts  us  to  the  position  of  the  subject  of  knowledge  free 
from  will,  is  this  fittingness  of  nature,  this  significance 
and  distinctness  of  its  forms,  on  account  of  which  the 
Ideas  individualised  in  them  readily  present  themselves 
to  us ;  so  long  is  it  merely  beauty  that  affects  us  and  the 
sense  of  the  beautiful  that  is  excited.  But  if  these  very 
objects  whose  significant  forms  invite  us  to  pure  contem- 

•plation,  have  a  hostile  relation  to  the  human  will  in 
general,  as  it  exhibits  itself  in  its  objectivity,  the 
human  body,  if  they  are  opposed  to  it,  so  that  it  is 
enaced  by  the  irresistible  predominance  of  their  power, 
or  sinks   into  insignificance  before    their    immeasurable 


Vor 


1  I  am  all  the  more  delighted  and  varias,  qutbus  mundi  hujus  visibiUi 

astonished,  forty  years   after   I  so  ttructura    formosa     est,    sentiendat 

timidly  and  hesitatingly  advanced  sensibus  praebent ;    ut,  pro  to  quod 

this   thought,  to   discover   that   it  nosse  non  possunt,   quasi  innotbs- 

has  already  been  expressed  by  St.  cere  veil*  videantur.  -De  civ.  Dei, 

Augustine :    Arbusta   formas    sua*  xi,  27. 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA  :  THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.     261 

greatness ;  if,  nevertheless,  the  beholder  does  not  direct 
his  attention  to  this  eminently  hostile  relation  to  his  will, 
but,  although  perceiving  and  recognising  it,  turns  con- 
sciously away  from  it,  forcibly  detaches  himself  from  his^ 
will  and  its  relations,  and,  giving  himself  up  entirely  to 
knowledge,  quietly  contemplates  those  very  objects  that 
\V 'are  so  terrible  to  the  will,  comprehends  only  their  Idea, 
which  is  foreign  to  all  relation,  so  that  he  lingers  gladly 
over  its  contemplation,  and  is  thereby  raised  above  him- 
self, his  person,  his  will,  and  all  will : — in  that  case  he 
is  filled  with  the  sense  of  the  sublime,  he  is  in  the  state 
of  spiritual  exaltation,  and  therefore  the  object  produc- 
ing such  a  state  is  called  sublime.  Thus  what  dis- 
tinguishes the  sense  of  the  sublime  from  that  of  the 
beautiful  is  this:  in  the  case  of  the  beautiful,  pure 
knowledge  has  gained  the  upper  hand  without  a  struggle, 
for  the  beauty  of  the  object,  i.e.,  that  property  which 
facilitates  the  knowledge  of  its  Idea,  has  removed  from 
consciousness  without  resistance,  and  therefore  impercep- 
tibly, the  will  and  the  knowledge  of  relations  which  is 
subject  to  it,  so  that  what  is  left  is  the  pure  subject  of 
knowledge  without  even  a  remembrance  of  will.  On  the 
other  hand,  in  the  case  of  the  sublime  that  state  of  pure 
knowledge  is  only  attained  by  a  conscious  and  forcible 
breaking  away  from  the  relations  of  the  same  object  to 
the  will,  which  are  recognised  as  unfavourable,  by  a  free 
and  conscious  transcending  of  the  will  and  the  knowledge 
related  to  it. 

This  exaltation  must  not  only  be  consciously  won,  but 
also  consciously  retained,  and  it  is  therefore  accompanied 
by  a  constant  remembrance  of  will ;  yet  not  of  a  single 
particular  volition,  such  as  fear  or  desire,  but  of  human 
volition  in  general,  so  far  as  it  is  universally  expressed 
in  its  objectivity  the  human  body.  If  a  single  real  act 
of  will  were  to  come  into  consciousness,  through  actual 
personal  pressure  and  danger  from  the  object,  then  the 
individual  will  thus  actually  influenced  would  at  once 


262  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  bk.  iil 

gain  the  upper  hand,  the  peace  of  contemplation  would 
become  impossible,  the  impression  of  the  sublime  would 
be  lost,  because  it  yields  to  the  anxiety,  in  which  the 
effort  of  the  individual  to  right  itself  has   sunk   every 
other  thought.     A  few  examples  will  help  very  much  to 
elucidate  thisJiieoxY-_oi_4he^sthetic  sublime  and  remove 
all  doubt  with  regard  to  it ;  at  the  same  time  they  will 
bring   out   the    different    degrees    of    this  sense  of   the 
sublime.     It  is  in  the  main  identical  with  that  of  the 
beautiful,  with  purewilHess  knowing,  and  the  knowledge, 
that  necessarily  accompanies  it  of  Ideas  out  of  all  relation 
determined  by  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason,  and  it 
is  distinguished  from  the  sense  of  the  beautiful  only  by 
the  additional  quality  that  it   rises    above    the  known 
hostile  relation  of  the  object  contemplated  to  the  will  in 
general.     Thus  there  come  to  be  various  degrees  of  the 
sublime,    and   transitions    from    the    beautiful    to    the 
sublime,    according  as  this  additional  quality  is  strong, 
bold,  urgent,  near,  or  weak,  distant,  and  merely  indicated. 
I  think    it   is    more  in  keeping   with  the  plan  of  my 
treatise,  first  to  give  examples  of  these  transitions,  and 
of  the  weaker  degrees  of  the  impression  of  the  sublime, 
although  persons  whose  aesthetical  susceptibility  in  general 
is  not  very  great,  and  whose  imagination  is  not  very 
lively,  will  only  understand  the  examples  given  later  of 
the  higher  and  more  distinct  grades  of  that  impression ; 
and  they  should  therefore  confine  themselves  to  these, 
and  pass  over  the  examples  of  the  very  weak  degrees  of 
the  sublime  that  are  to  be  given  first. 

As  man  Js  at  once  impetuous  and  blind  striving  of 
will  (whose  pole  or  focus  lies  in  the  genital  organs),  jnd 
eternal,  free,_gerene, juhject  of_pure  knowingjwhose  pole 
is  the  brain) ;  so,  corresponding  to  this  antithesis,  the  sun 
is  both  the  source  of  light,  the  condition  of  the  most  per- 
fect kind  of  knowledge,  and  therefore  of  the  most  delight- 
ful of  things — and  the  source  of  warmth,  the  first  condition 
of  life,  i.e.,  of  all  phenomena  of  will  in  its  higher  grades. 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA  :   THE  OBJECT  OF  ART,    263 

Therefore,  what  warmth  is  for  the  will,  light  is  for  know- 
ledge. Light  is  the  largest  gem  in  the  crown  of  beauty, 
and  has  the  most  marked  influence  on  the  knowledge  of 
every  beautiful  object.  Its  presence  is  an  indispensable 
condition  of  beauty ;  its  favourable  disposition  increases 
the  beauty  of  the  most  beautiful.  Architectural  beauty 
more  than  any  other  object  is  enhanced  by  favourable 
light,  though  even  the  most  insignificant  things  become 
through  its  influence  most  beautiful.  If,  in  the  dead  of 
winter,  when  all  nature  is  frozen  and  stiff,  we  see  the 
rays  of  the  setting  sun  reflected  by  masses  of  stone, 
illuminating  without  warming,  and  thus  favourable  only 
to  the  purest  kind  of  knowledge,  not  to  the  will ;  the 
contemplation  of  the  beautiful  effect  of  the  light  upon 
these  masses  lifts  us,  as  does  all  beauty,  into  a  state  of 
pure  knowing.  But,  in  this  case,  a^ertain  transcending 
ofTthp.  interests  of  the  will  is  needed  to  enable  us  to  rise 
into  the  state  of  pure  knowing,  because  there  is  a  faint 
recollection  of  the  lack  of  warmth  from  these  rays,  that 
is,  an  absence  of  the  principle  of  life ;  there  is  a  slight 
challenge  to  persist  in  pure  knowing,  and  to  refrain  from 
all  willing,  and  therefore  it  is  an  example  of  a  tran- 
sition from  the  sense  of  the  beautiful  to  that  of  the 
sublime.  It  is  the  faintest  trace  of  the  sublime  in 
the  beautiful;  and  beauty  itself  is  indeed  present  only 
in  a  slight  degree.  The  following  is  almost  as  weak  an 
example. 

Let  us  imagine  ourselves  transported  to  a  very  lonely 
place,  with  unbroken  horizon,  under  a  cloudless  sky, 
trees  and  plants  in  the  perfectly  motionless  air,  no 
animals,  no  men,  no  running  water,  the  deepest  silence. 
Such  surroundings  are,  as  it  were,  a  call  to  seriousness 
and  contemplation,  apart  from  all  will  and  its  cravings ; 
but  this  is  just  what  imparts  to  such  a  scene  of  desolate 
stillness  a  touch  of  the  sublime.  For,  because  it  affords 
no  object,  either  favourable  or  unfavourable,  for  the  will 
which  is  constantly  in  need  of  striving  and  attaining, 


264  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  bk.  hi. 

there  only  remains  the  state  of  pure  contemplation,  and 
whoever  is  incapable  of  this,  is  ignominiously  abandoned 
to  the  vacancy  of  unoccupied  will,  and  the  misery  of 
ennui.  So  far  it  is  a  test  of  our  intellectual  worth,  of 
which,  generally  speaking,  the  degree  of  our  power  of 
enduring  solitude,  or  our  love  of  it,  is  a  good  criterion. 
The  scene  we  have  sketched  affords  us,  then,  an  example 
of  the  sublime  in  a  low  degree,  for  in  it,  with  the 
state  of  pure  knowing  in  its  peace  and  all-sufficiency, 
there  is  mingled,  by  way  of  contrast,  the  recollection  of 
the  dependence  and  poverty  of  the  will  which  stands  in 
need  of  constant  action.  This  is  the  species  of  the  sub- 
lime for  which  the  sight  of  the  boundless  prairies  of  the 
interior  of  North  America  is  celebrated. 

But  let  us  suppose  such  a  scene,  stripped  also  of  vege- 
tation, and  showing  only  naked  rocks;  then  from  the 
entire  absence  of  that  organic  life  which  is  necessary 
for  existence,  the  will  at  once  becomes  uneasy,  the  desert 
assumes  a  terrible  aspect,  our  mood  becomes  more  tragic ; 
the  elevation  to  the  sphere  of  pure  knowing  takes  place 
with  a  more  decided  tearing  of  ourselves  away  from  the 
interests  of  the  will ;  and  because  we  persist  in  continu- 
ing in  the  state  of  pure  knowing,  the  sense  of  the  sub- 
lime distinctly  appears. 

The  following  situation  may  occasion  this  feeling  in  a 
still  higher  degree :  Nature  convulsed  by  a  storm ;  the 
sky  darkened  by  black  threatening  thunder-clouds ;  stu- 
pendous, naked,  overhanging  cliffs,  completely  shutting 
out  the  view ;  rushing,  foaming  torrents ;  absolute  desert ; 
the  wail  of  the  wind  sweeping  through  the  clefts  of  the 
rocks.  Our  dependence,  our  strife  with  hostile  nature, 
our  will  broken  in  the  conflict,  now  appears  visibly  before 
our  eyes.  Yet,  so  long  as  the  personal  pressure  does  not 
gain  the  upper  hand,  but  we  continue  in  aesthetic  con- 
templation, the  pure  subject  of  knowing  gazes  unshaken 
and  unconcerned  through  that  strife  of  nature,  through 
that  picture  of  the  broken  will,  and  quietly  comprehends 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA:  THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.     265 

the  Ideas  even  of  those  objects  which  are  threatening 
and  terrible  to  the  will.  In  this  contrast  lies  the  sense 
of  the  sublime. 

But  the  impression  becomes  still  stronger,  if,  when  we 
have  before  our  eyes,  on  a  large  scale,  the  battle  of  the 
raging  elements,  in  such  a  scene  we  are  prevented  from 
hearing  the  sound  of  our  own  voice  by  the  noise  of  a 
falling  stream;  or,  if  we  are  abroad  in  the  storm  of 
tempestuous  seas,  where  the  mountainous  waves  rise  and 
fall,  dash  themselves  furiously  against  steep  cliffs,  and 
toss  their  spray  high  into  the  air ;  the  storm  howls,  the 
sea  boils,  the  lightning  flashes  from  black  clouds,  and 
the  peals  of  thunder  drown  the  voice  of  storm  and  sea. 
Then,  in  the  undismayed  beholder,  the  two-fold  nature  of 
his  consciousness  reaches  the  highest  degree  of  distinct- 
ness. He  perceives  himself,  on  the  one  hand,  as  an  in- 
dividual, as  the  frail  phenomenon  of  will,  which  the 
slightest  touch  of  these  forces  can  utterly  destroy,  help- 
less against  powerful  nature,  dependent,  the  victim  of 
chance,  a  vanishing  nothing  in  the  presence  of  stupendous 
might ;  and,  on  the  other  hand,  as  the  eternal,  peaceful, 
knowing  subject,  the  condition  of  the  object,  and,  there- 
fore, the  supporter  of  this  whole  world ;  the  terrific  strife 
of  nature  only  his  idea ;  the  subject  itself  free  and  apart 
from  all  desires  and  necessities,  in  the  quiet  comprehen- 
sion of  the  Ideas.  This  is  the  complete  impression  of 
the  sublime.  Here  he  obtains  a  glimpse  of_a  power 
beyond  all^compariRnn  superior  to  the  individual  threat- 
ening it  with  annihilation. 

The  impression  of  the  sublime  may  be  produced  in 
quite  another  way,  by  presenting  a  mere  immensity  in 
space  and  time ;  its  immeasurable  greatness  dwindles  the 
individual  to  nothing.  Adhering  to  Kant's  nomenclature 
and  his  accurate  division,  we  may  call  the  first  kind  the 
(lyjiamicaV  and  the  second  the^malheinaMcal^^ublimg, 
although  we  entirely  dissent  from  his  explanation  of  the 
inner  nature  of  the  impression,  and  can  allow  no  share 


266  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  bk.  hi. 

in  it  either  to  moral  reflections,  or  to  hypostases  from 
scholastic  philosophy. 

If  we  lose  ourselves  in  the  contemplation  of  the 
infinite  greatness  of  the  universe  in  space  and  time, 
meditate  on  the  thousands  of  years  that  are  past  or  to 
come,  or  if  the  heavens  at  night  actually  bring  before 
our  eyes  innumerable  worlds  and  so  force  upon  our 
consciousness  the  immensity  of  the  universe,  we  feel 
ourselves  dwindle  to  nothing;  as  individuals,  as  living 
bodies,  as  transient  phenomena  of  will,  we  feel  ourselves 
pass  away  and  vanish  into  nothing  like  drops  in  the 
ocean.  But  at  once  there  rises  against  this  ghost  of  our 
own  nothingness,  against  such  lying  impossibility,  the 
immediate  consciousness  that  all  these  worlds  exist  only 
as  our  idea,  only  as  modifications  of  the  eternal  subject 
of  pure  knowing,  which  we  find  ourselves  to  be  as  soon 
as  we  forget  our  individuality,  and  which  is  the  neces- 
sary supporter  of  all  worlds  and  all  times  the  condition 
of  their  possibility.  The  vastness  of  Jjie_world  which 
disquieted  us  before,  rests  now  in  us ;   our  dependence 

nj)on_-it    1R    an  mill  pd    by    it,q    dppp.ndpn  p.p.    iipnn,    U,%       All 

this,  however,  does  not  come  at  once  into  reflection, 
but  shows  itself  merely  as  the  felt  consciousness  that 
in  some  sense  or  other  (which  philosophy  alone  can 
explain)  wp  arp  nnp  with  thp.  world,  and  therefore  not 
oppressed,  but  exalted  by  its  immensity.  It  is  the  felt 
consciousness  of  this  that  the  Upanishads  of  the  Vedas 
repeatedly  express  in  such  a  multitude  of  different  ways ; 
very  admirably  in  the  saying  already  quoted :  Hce  omnes 
creatures  in  totum  ego  sum,  et  prater  vie  aliud  ens  non  est 
(Oupnek'hat,  vol.  i.  p.  122.)  It  is  the  transcending  of 
our  own  individuality,  the  sense  of  the  sublime. 

We  receive  this  impression  of  the  mathematical-sublime, 
quite  directly,  by  means  of  a  space  which  is  small  indeed 
as  compared  with  the  world,  but  winch  has  become 
directly  perceptible  to  us,  and  aifects  us  with  its  whole 
extent  in  all  its  three  dimensions,  so  as  to  make  our  own 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA  .    THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.    267 

body  seem  almost  infinitely  small.  An  empty  space  can 
never  be  thus  jperceived,  and  therefore  never  an  open 
space,  but  only  space  that  is  directly  perceptible  in  all 
its  jiimensions„,by  means  of  the  limits  which  enclose  Jl; 
thus  for  example  a  very  high,  vast  dome,  like  that  of  St. 
Peter's  at  Eome,  or  St.  Paul's  in  London.  The  sense  of 
the  sublime  here  arises  through  the  consciousness  of  the 
vanishing  nothingness  of  our  own  body  in  the  presence 
of  a  vastness  which,  from  another  point  of  view,  itself 
exists  only  in  our  idea,  and  of  which  we  are  as  knowing 
subject,  the  supporter.  Thus  here  as  everywhere  it  arises"1 
from  the  contrast  between  the  insignificance  and  depend- 
ence of  ourselves  as  individuals,  as  phenomena  of  will, 
and  the  consciousness  of  ourselves  as  pure  subject  o£ 
knowing.  Even  the  vault  of  the  starry  heaven  produces 
this  if  it  is  cpntejnjpiaied^  ;  but  just  in 

the  same  way  as  the  vault  of  stone,  and  only  by  its 
apparent,  not  its  reaL extent.  Some  objects  of  our  per- 
ception excite  in  us  the  feeling  of  the  sublime  because, 
not  only  on  account  of  their  spatial  vastness,  but  also  of 
their  great  age,  that  is,  their  temporal  duration,  we  feel 
ourselves  dwarfed  to  insignificance  in  their  presence,  and 
yet  revel  in  the  pleasure  of  contemplating  them :  of  this 
kind  are  very  high  mountains,  the  Egyptian  pyramids, 
and  colossal  ruins  of  great  antiquity. 

Our  explanation  of  the  sublime  applies  also  to  the 
ethical,  to  what  is  called  the  sublime  character.  Such  a 
character  arises  from  this,  that  the  will  is  not  excited  by 
objects  which  are  well  calculated  to  excite  it,  but  that 
knowledge  retains  the  upper  hand  in  their  presence.  A 
man  of  sublime  character  will  accordingly  consider  men 
in  a  purely  objective  way,  and  not  with  reference  to  the 
relations  which  they  might  have  to  his  will ;  he  will,  for 
example,  observe  their  faults,  even  their  hatred  and 
injustice  to  himself,  without  being  himself  excited  to 
hatred  ;  he  will  behold  their  happiness  without  envy  ;  he 
will  recognise  their  good  qualities  without  desiring  any 


268  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  bk.  hi. 

closer  relations  with  them ;  he  will  perceive  the  beauty 
of  women,  but  he  will  not  desire  them.  His  personal 
happiness  or  unhappiness  will  not  greatly  affect  him,  he 
will  rather  be  as  Hamlet  describes  Horatio : — 

"...     for  thou  hast  been, 
As  one,  in  suffering  all,  that  suffers  nothing  ; 
A  man  that  fortune's  buffets  and  rewards 
Hast  ta'en  with  equal  thanks,"  &c  (A.  3.  Sc.  2.) 

For  in  the  course  of  his  own  life  and  its  misfortunes,  he 
will  consider  less  his  individual  lot  than  that  of  humanity 
in  general,  and  will  therefore  conduct  himself  in  its  regard, 
rather  as  knowing  than  as  suffering. 

§  40.  Opposites  throw  light  upon  each  other,  and 
therefore  the  remark  may  be  in  place  here,  that  the 
proper  opposite  of  the  sublime  is  something  which  would 
not  at  the  first  glance  be  recognised,  as  such :  the  charm- 
ing  or  attractive.  By  this,  however,  I  understand,  that 
which  excites  the  will  by  presenting  to  it  directly  its 
1  lulfilment,  its  satisfaction.  We  saw  that  the  feeling  of 
the  sublime  arises  from  the  fact,  that  something  entirely 
unfavourable  to  the  will,  becomes  the  object  of  pure  con- 
templation, so  that  such  contemplation  can  only  be  main- 
tained by  persistently  turning  away  from  the  will,  and 
transcending  its  interests ;  this  constitutes  the  sublimity 
of  the  character.  The  charming  or  attractive,  on  the  con- 
trary, draws  the  beholder  away  from  the  pure  contem- 
plation which  is  demanded  by  all  apprehension  of  the 
beautiful,  because  it  necessarily  excites  this  will,  by 
objects  which  directly  appeal  to  it,  and  thus  he  no  longer 
remains  pure  subject  of  knowing,  but  becomes  the  needy 
and  dependent  subject  of  will.  That  every  beautiful 
thing  which  is  bright  or  cheering  should  be  called  charm- 
ing, is  the  result  of  a  too  general  concept,  which  arises 
from  a  want  of  accurate  discrimination,  and  which  I 
must  entirely  set  aside,  and  indeed  condemn.  But  in  the 
sense  of  the  word  which  has  been  given  and  explained,  I 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA :  THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.    269 

find  only  two  species  of  the  charming  or  attractive  in  the 
province  of  art,  and  both  of  them  are  unworthy  of  it. 
The  one  species,  a  very  low  one,  is  found  in  Dutch  paint- 
ings of  still  life,  when  they  err  by  representing  articles 
of  food,  which  by  their  deceptive  likeness  necessarily 
excite  the  appetite  for  the  things  they  represent,  and 
this  is  just  an  excitement  of  the  will,  which  puts  an  end 
to  all  aesthetic  contemplation  of  the  object.  Painted 
fruit  is  yet  admissible,  because  we  may  regard  it  as  the 
further  development  of  the  flower,  and  as  a  beautiful 
product  of  nature  in  form  and  colour,  without  being 
obliged  to  think  of  it  as  eatable ;  but  unfortunately  we 
often  find,  represented  with  deceptive  naturalness,  pre- 
pared and  served  dishes,  oysters,  herrings,  crabs,  bread 
and  butter,  beer,  wine,  and  so  forth,  which  is  altogether 
to  be  condemned.  In  historical  painting  and  in  sculp- 
ture the  charming  consists  in  naked  figures,  whose 
position,  drapery,  and  general  treatment  are  calculated 
to  excite  the  passions  of  the  beholder,  and  thus  pure 
sesthetical  contemplation  is  at  once  annihilated,  and  the 
aim  of  art  is  defeated.  This  mistake  corresponds  exactly 
to  that  which  we  have  just  censured  in  the  Dutch  paint- 
ings. The  ancients  are  almost  always  free  from  this 
fault  in  their  representations  of  beauty  and  complete 
nakedness  of  form,  because  the  artist  himself  created 
them  in  a  purely  objective  spirit,  filled  with  ideal  beauty, 
not  in  the  spirit  of  subjective,  and  base  sensuality.  The 
charming  is  thus  everywhere  to  be  avoided  in  art. 

There  is  also  a  negative  species  of  the  charming  or 
exciting  which  is  even  more  reprehensible  than  the  posi- 
tive form  which  has  been  discussed ;  this  is  the  disgust- 
ing or  the  loathsome.  It  arouses  the  will  of  the  beholder, 
just  as  what  is  properly  speaking  charming,  and  therefore 
disturbs  pure  aesthetic  contemplation.  But  it  is  an  active 
aversion  and  opposition  which  is  excited  by  it ;  it  arouses 
the  will  by  presenting  to  it  objects  which  it  abhors. 
Therefore    it   has    always    been    recognised    that   it    is 


27©  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 


BK.  IIL 


altogether  inadmissible  in  art,  where  even  what  is  u<*ly, 
when  it  is  not  disgusting,  is  allowable  in  its  proper  place, 
as  we  shall  see  later. 

§  41.  The    course    of    the    discussion    has    made    it 
necessary  to   insert  at  this  point  the  treatment  of  the 
sublime,  though  we  have  only  half  done  with  the  beauti- 
ful, as  we  have  considered  its  subjective  side  only.     For 
it  was  merely  a  special  modification  of  this  subjective 
side  that  distinguished  the  beautiful  from  the  sublime. 
This  difference  was  found  to  depend  upon  whether  the 
state   of  pure  will-less    knowing,  which  is  presupposed 
and  demanded  by  all  aesthetic  contemplation,  was  reached 
without  opposition,  by  the  mere  disappearance  of  the  will 
from  consciousness,  because  the  object  invited  and  drew 
us  towards  it ;  or  whether  it  was  only  attained  through 
the  free,  conscious  transcending  of  the  will,  to  which  the 
object  contemplated  had  an  unfavourable  and  even  hostile 
relation,  which  would  destroy  contemplation  altogether, 
if  we  were  to  give  ourselves  up  to  it.     This  is  the  dis- 
tinction between  the  beautiful  and  the  sublima     In  the 
object  they  are  not  essentially  different,  for  in  every  case 
the  object  of  aesthetical  contemplation  is  not  the  individual 
thing,  but  the  Idea  in  it  which  is  striving  to  reveal  itself; 
that  is  to  say,  adequate  objectivity  of  will  at  a  particular 
grade.     Its  necessary  correlative,  independent,  like  itself 
of  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason,  is  the  pure  subject 
of  knowing ;  just  as  the  correlative  of  the  particular  thing 
is  the  knowing  individual,  both  of  which  lie  within  the 
province  of  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason. 

When  we  say  that  a  thing  is  beautiful,  we  thereby 
assert  that  it  is  an  object  of  our  aesthetic  contemplation, 
and  this  has  a  double  meaning;  on  the  one  hand  it 
means  that  the  sight  of  the  thing  makes  us  objective,  that 
is  to  say,  that  in  contemplating  it  we  are  no  longer  con- 
scious of  ourselves  as  individuals,  but  as  pure  will-less 
subjects  of  knowledge ;  and  on  the  other  hand  it  means 
that  we  recognise  in  the  object,  not  the  particular  thing, 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA  :  THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.    271 

but  an  Idea ;  and  this  can  only  happen,  so  far  as  our 
contemplation  of  it  is  not  subordinated  to  the  principle 
of  sufficient  reason,  does  not  follow  the  relation  of  the 
object  to  anything  outside  it  (which  is  always  ultimately 
connected  with  relations  to  our  own  will),  but  rests  in 
the  object  itself.  For  the  Idea  and  the  pure  subject  of 
knowledge  always  appear  at  once  in  consciousness  as 
necessary  correlatives,  and  on  their  appearance  all  dis- 
tinction of  time  vanishes,  for  they  are  both  entirely 
foreign  to  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason  in  all  its 
forms,  and  lie  outside  the  relations  which  are  imposed 
by  it;  they  may  be  compared  to  the  rainbow  and  the 
sun,  which  have  no  part  in  the  constant  movement  and 
succession  of  the  falling  drops.  Therefore,  if,  for  example,^ 
I  contemplate  a  tree  aesthetically,  i.e.,  with  artistic  eyes, 
and  thus  recognise,  not  it,  but  its  Idea,  it  becomes  at  once 
of  no  consequence  whether  it  is  this  tree  or  its  predecessor 
which  flourished  a  thousand  years  ago,  and  whether  the 
observer  is  this  individual  or  any  other  that  lived  any- 
where and  at  any  time;  the  particular  thing  and  the 
knowing  individual  are  abolished  with  the  principle  of 
sufficient  reason,  and  there  remains  nothing  but  the  Idea 
and  the  pure  subject  of  knowing,  which  together  consti- 
tute the  adequate  objectivity  of  will  at  this  grade.  And 
the  Idea  dispenses  not  only  with  time,  but  also  with  ■ 
space,  for  the  Idea  proper  is  not  this  special  form  which 
appears  before  me  but  its  expression,  its  pure  significance, 
its  inner  being,  which  discloses  itself  to  me  and  appeals 
to  me,  and  which  may  be  quite  the  same  though  the 
spatial  relations  of  its  form  be  very  different. 

Since,  on  the  one  hand,  every  given  thing  may  be 
observed  in  a  purely  objective  manner  and  apart  from 
all  relations ;  and  since,  on  the  other  hand,  the  will 
manifests  itself  in  everything  at  some  grade  of  its  ob-  J 
jectivity,  so  that  everything  is  the  expression  of  an  Idea ; 
it  follows  that  everything  is  also  beautiful.  That  even 
the  most  insignificant  things  admit  of  pure  objective  and 


272  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  bk.  iil 

will-less  contemplation,  and  thus  prove  that  they  are 
beautiful,  is  shown  by  what  was  said  above  in  this  refer- 
ence about  the  Dutch  pictures  of  still-life  (§  38).  But 
one  thing  is  more  beautiful  than  another,  because  it 
makes  this  pure  objective  contemplation  easier,  it  lends 
itself  to  it,  and,  so  to  speak,  even  compels  it,  and  then 
we  call  it  very  beautiful.  This  is  the  case  sometimes 
because,  as  an  individual  thing,  it  expresses  in  its  purity 
the  Idea  of  its  species  by  the  very  distinct,  clearly  de- 
fined, and  significant  relation  of  its  parts,  and  also  fully 
reveals  that  Idea  through  the  completeness  of  all  the 
possible  expressions  of  its  species  united  in  it,  so  that  it 
makes  the  transition  from  the  individual  thing  to  the 
Idea,  and  therefore  also  the  condition  of  pure  contem- 
plation, very  easy  for  the  beholder.  Sometimes  this  pos- 
session of  special  beauty  in  an  object  lies  in  the  fact 
^that  the  Idea  itself  which  appeals  to  us  in  it  is  a 
high  grade  of  the  objectivity  of  will,  and  therefore  very 
significant  and  expressive.  Therefore  it  is  that  man  is 
more  beautiful  than  all  other  objects,  and  the  revelation 
of  his  nature  is  the  highest  aim  of  art.  Human  form 
and  expression  are  the  most  important  objects  of  plastic 
art,  and  human  action  the  most  important  object  of 
poetry.  Yet  each  thing  has  its  own  peculiar  beauty, 
not  only  every  organism  which  expresses  itself  in  the 
unity  of  an  individual  being,  but  also  everything  unor- 
ganised and  formless,  and  even  every  manufactured  article. 
For  all  these  reveal  the  Ideas  through  which  the  will 
objectifies  itself  at  it  lowest  grades,  they  give,  as  it  were, 
the  deepest  resounding  bass-notes  of  nature.  Gravity, 
rigidity,  fluidity,  light,  and  so  forth,  are  the  Ideas 
which  express  themselves  in  rocks,  in  buildings,  in 
waters.  Landscape-gardening  or  architecture  can  do  no 
more  than  assist  them  to  unfold  their  qualities  distinctly, 
fully,  and  variously ;  they  can  only  give  them  the  oppor- 
tunity of  expressing  themselves  purely,  so  that  they  lend 
themselves  to  aesthetic  contemplation  and  make  it  easier. 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA  :   THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.    273 

Inferior  buildings  or  ill-favoured  localities,  on  the  con- 
trary, which  nature  has  neglected  or  art  has  spoiled, 
perform  this  task  in  a  very  slight  degree  or  not  at  all ; 
yet  even  from  them  these  universal,  fundamental  Ideas 
of  nature  cannot  altogether  disappear.  To  the  careful 
observer  they  present  themselves  here  also,  and  even  bar' 
buildings  and  the  like  are  capable  of  being  aesthetically 
considered ;  the  Ideas  of  the  most  universal  properties  of 
their  materials  are  still  recognisable  in  them,  only  the 
artificial  form  which  has  been  given  them  does  not 
assist  but  hinders  aesthetic  contemplation.  Manufactured 
articles  also  serve  to  express  Ideas,  only  it  is  not  the 
Idea  of  the  manufactured  article  which  speaks  in  them, 
but  the  Idea  of  the  material  to  which  this  artificial  form 
has  been  given.  This  may  be  very  conveniently  ex- 
pressed in  two  words,  in  the  language  of  the  schoolmen, 
thus, — the  manufactured  article  expresses  the  Idea  of  its 
forma  substantial,  but  not  that  of  its  forma  accidentalis  ; 
the  latter  leads  to  no  Idea,  but  only  to  a  human  concep- 
tion of  which  it  is  the  result.  It  is  needless  to  say  that 
by  manufactured  article  no  work  of  plastic  art  is  meant. 
The  schoolmen  understand,  in  fact,  by  forma  substantial™ 
that  which  I  call  the  grade  of  the  objectification  of  will 
in  a  thing.  We  shall  return  immediately,  when  we  treat 
of  architecture,  to  the  Idea  of  the  material.  Our  view, 
then,  cannot  be  reconciled  with  that  of  Plato  if  he  is 
of  opinion  that  a  table  or  a  chair  express  the  Idea 
of  a  table  or  a  chair  (De  Rep.,  x.,  pp.  284,  285,  et 
Parmen.,  p.  79,  ed.  Bip.),  but  we  say  that  they  express 
the  Ideas  which  are  already  expressed  in  their  mere 
material  as  such.  According  to  Aristotle  (Metap.  xi., 
chap.  3),  however,  Plato  himself  only  maintained  Ideas 
of  natural  objects :  0  IlXarcov  6<fyr],  on  6*877  eariv  oiroaa 
<f>v<7€i  (Plato  dixit,  quod  idece  eorum  sunt,  quce  natura  sunt), 
and  in  chap.  5  he  says  that,  according  to  the  Platonists, 
there  are  no  Ideas  of  house  and  ring.  In  any  case, 
Plato's  earliest  disciples,  as  Alcinous  informs  us  (Intro- 
vol.  1.  s 


274  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  BK.  ill. 

ductio  in  Platonicam  rhilosophiam,  chap.  9),  denied  that 
there  were  any  ideas  of  manufactured  articles.  He  says: 
'Opi^ovTat,  Se  ttjv  ibeav,  irapaBeiyfia  tcov  Kara  <f>voiv 
aicoviov.  Ovre  yap  tow  TrXeicrrow  tcov  otto  ILXaTCOvos 
apeatcei,  tcov  Tzyyinwv  eivai  t8ea?,  oiov  aaniho^  t]  \vpas, 
ovre  firjv  tcov  irapa  cf>vo~iv,  oiov  nrvpcTov  km  yoXepas, 
ovre  tcov  kclto,  fiepos,  oiov  XcotcpaTovs  teat,  IlXaTcovos, 
cfiOC  ovre  tcov  evTeKcov  t«/o?,  oiov  pvnov  Kai  /capfovs, 
ovt€  tcov  7rpo?  ti}  oiov  fieityvos  /cat  virepe^ovTo^'  eivai 
yap  Ta9  iScas  vorjo-eis  Beov  aicoviov;  t€  icai  avTOTekei? 
{Definiunt  autem  IDEAM  exemplar  ceternum  eorum,  qua 
secundum  naturam  existunt.  Nam  plurimis  ex  iis}  qui 
Platonem  secuti  sunt,  minime  placuit,  arte  faciendum  ideas 
esse,  ut  clypei  atque  lyraz ;  neque  rursus  eorum,  quce  prater 
naturamf  ut  febris  et  cholera,  neque  particularium,  ceu 
Socratis  et  Platonis ;  neque  etiam  rerum  vilium,  vehiti 
sordium  et  festuca ;  neque  relationum,  ut  majoris  et 
excedentis :  esse  namque  ideas  intellectiones  dei  aternas, 
ac  seipsis  perfectas).  We  may  take  this  opportunity  of 
mentioning  another  point  in  which  our  doctrine  of  Ideas 
differs  very  much  from  that  of  Plato.  He  teaches  (De 
Rep.,  x.,  p.  288)  that  the  object  which  art  tries  to 
express,  the  ideal  of  painting  and  poetry,  is  not  the  Idea 
but  the  particular  thing.  Our  whole  exposition  hitherto 
has  maintained  exactly  the  opposite,  and  Plato's  opinion 
is  the  less  likely  to  lead  us  astray,  inasmuch  as  it  is  the 
source  of  one  of  the  greatest  and  best  known  errors  of 
this  great  man,  his  depreciation  and  rejection  of  art,  and 
especially  poetry  ;  he  directly  connects  his  false  judgment 
in  reference  to  this  with  the  passage  quoted. 

§42.  I  return  to  the  exposition  of  the  aesthetic 
impression.  The  knowledge  of  the  beautiful  always 
supposes  at  once  and  inseparably  the  pure  knowing 
subject  and  the  known  Idea  as  object.  Yet  the  source 
of  aesthetic  satisfaction  will  sometimes  lie  more  in  the 
comprehension  of  the  known  Idea,  sometimes  more  in  the 
blessedness  and  spiritual  peace  of  the  pure  knowing  sub- 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA  :  THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.     275 

ject  freed  from  all  willing,  and  therefore  from  all  individ- 
uality, and  the  pain  that  proceeds  from  it.  And,  indeed, 
this  predominance  of  one  or  the  other  constituent  part  of 
aesthetic  feeling  will  depend  upon  whether  the  intuitively 
grasped  Idea  is  a  higher  or  a  lower  grade  of  the  objec- 
tivity of  will.  Thus  in  aesthetic  contemplation  (in  the 
real,  or  through  the  medium  of  art)  of  the  beauty  of 
nature  in  the  inorganic  and  vegetable  worlds,  or  in  works 
of  architecture,  the  pleasure  of  pure  will -less  knowing 
will  predominate,  because  the  Ideas  which  are  here 
apprehended  are  only  low  grades  of  the  objectivity  of 
will,  and  are  therefore  not  manifestations  of  deep  signifi- 
cance and  rich  content.  On  the  other  hand,  if  animals 
and  man  are  the  objects  of  aesthetic  contemplation  or 
representation,  the  pleasure  will  consist  rather  in  the 
comprehension  of  these  Ideas,  which  are  the  most  distinct 
revelation  of  will ;  for  they  exhibit  the  greatest  multi- 
plicity of  forms,  the  greatest  richness  and  deep  significance 
of  phenomena,  and  reveal  to  us  most  completely  the 
nature  of  will,  whether  in  its  violence,  its  terribleness,  its 
satisfaction  or  its  aberration  (the  latter  in  tragic  situations), 
or  finally  in  its  change  and  self-surrender,  which  is  the_ 
peculiar  theme  of  christian  painting ;  as  the  Idea  of  the 
will  enlightened  by  full  knowledge  is  the  object  of 
historical  painting  in  general,  and  of  the  drama.  We 
shall  now  go  through  the  fine  arts  one  by  one,  and  this 
will  give  completeness  and  distinctness  to  the  theory  of 
the  beautiful  which  we  have  advanced. 

§  43.  Matter  as  such  cannot  be  the  expression  of  an 
Idea.  For,  as  we  found  in  the  first  book,  it  is  throughout 
nothing  but  casuality:  its  being  consists  in  its  casual 
action.  But  casuality  is  a  form  of  the  principle  of 
sufficient  reason ;  knowledge  of  the  Idea,  on  the  other 
hand,  absolutely  excludes  the  content  of  that  principle. 
We  also  found,  in  the  second  book,  that  matter  is  the 
common  substratum  of  all  particular  phenomena  of  the 
Ideas,  and  consequently  is  the  connecting  link  between 


276  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  bk.  in 

the  Idea  and  the  phenomenon,  or  the  particular  thing. 
Accordingly  for  both  of  these  reasons  it  is  impossible  that 
matter  can  for  itself  express  any  Idea.  This  is  confirmed 
a  posteriori  by  the  fact  that  it  is  impossible  to  have  a  per- 
ceptible idea  of  matter  as  such,  but  only  an  abstract 
conception ;  in  the  former,  i.e.,  in  perceptible  ideas  are 
exhibited  only  the  forms  and  qualities  of  which  matter  is 
the  supporter,  and  in  all  of  which  Ideas  reveal  themselves. 
This  corresponds  also  with  the  fact,  that  casuality  (the 
whole  essence  of  matter)  cannot  for  itself  be  presented 
perceptibly,  but  is  merely  a  definite  casual  connection. 
On  the  other  hand,  every  phenomenon  of  an  Idea,  because 
as  such  it  has  entered  the  form  of  the  principle  of 
sufficient  reason,  or  the  principium  individuationis,  must 
exhibit  itself  in  matter,  as  one  of  its  qualities.  So  far 
then  matter  is,  as  we  have  said,  the  connecting  link 
between  the  Idea  and  the  principium  individuationis,  which 
is  the  form  of  knowledge  of  the  individual,  or  the  prin- 
ciple of  sufficient  reason.  Plato  is  therefore  perfectly 
right  in  his  enumeration,  for  after  the  Idea  and  the 
phenomenon,  which  include  all  other  things  in  the 
world,  he  gives  matter  only,  as  a  third  thing  which  is 
different  from  both  (Timaus,  p.  345).  The  individual, 
as  a  phenomenon  of  the  Idea,  is  always  matter.  Every 
quality  of  matter  is  also  the  phenomenon  of  an  Idea,  and 
as  such  it  may  always  be  an  object  of  aesthetic  contem- 
plation, i.e.,  the  Idea  expressed  in  it  may  always  be  recog- 
nised. This  holds  good  of  even  the  most  universal 
qualities  of  matter,  without  which  it  never  appears,  and 
which  are  the  weakest  objectivity  of  will.  Such  are 
gravity,  cohesion,  rigidity,  fluidity,  sensitiveness  to  light, 
and  so  forth. 

If  now  we  consider  architecture  simply  as  a  fine  art 
and  apart  from  its  application  to  useful  ends,  in  which  it 
serves  the  will  and  not  pure  knowledge,  and  therefore 
ceases  to  be  art  in  our  sense ;  we  can  assign  to  it  no 
other  aim  than  that  of   bringing  to  greater  distinctness 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA  :   THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.     277 

some  of  those  ideas,  which  are  the  lowest  grades  of  the 
objectivity  of  will ;  such  as  gravity,  cohesion,  rigidity, 
hardness,  those  universal  qualities  of  stone,  those  first, 
simplest,  most  inarticulate  manifestations  of  will ;  the  bass 
notes  of  nature;  and  after  these  light,  which  in  many 
respects  is  their  opposite.  Even  at  these  low  grades 
of  the  objectivity  of  will  we  see  its  nature  revealing 
itself  in  discord ;  for  properly  speaking  the  conflicc 
between  gravity  and  rigidity  is  the  sole  aesthetic  material 
of  architecture;  its  problem  is  to  make  this  conflict 
appear  with  perfect  distinctness  in  a  multitude  of  different 
ways.  It  solves  it  by  depriving  these  indestructible 
forces  of  the  shortest  way  to  their  satisfaction,  and  con- 
ducting them  to  it  by  a  circuitous  route,  so  that  the  con- 
flict is  lengthened  and  the  inexhaustible  efforts  of  both 
forces  become  visible  in  many  different  ways.  The  whole 
mass  of  the  building,  if  left  to  its  original  tendency, 
would  exhibit  a  mere  heap  or  clump,  bound  as  closely  as 
possible  to  the  earth,  to  which  gravity,  the  form  in  which 
the  will  appears  here,  continually  presses,  while  rigidity, 
also  objectivity  of  will,  resists.  But  this  very  tendency, 
this  effort,  is  hindered  by  architecture  from  obtaining 
direct  satisfaction,  and  only  allowed  to  reach  it  indirectly 
and  by  roundabout  ways.  The  roof,  for  example,  can 
only  press  the  earth  through  columns,  the  arch  must  sup- 
port itself,  and  can  only  satisfy  its  tendency  towards  the 
earth  through  the  medium  of  the  pillars,  and  so  forth. 
But  just  by  these  enforced  digressions,  just  by  these 
restrictions,  the  forces  which  reside  in  the  crude  mass  of 
stone  unfold  themselves  in  the  most  distinct  and  multi- 
farious ways  ;  and  the  purely  sesthetic  aim  of  architecture 
can  go  no  further  than  this.  Therefore  the  beauty,  at 
any  rate,  of  a  building  lies  in  the  obvious  adaptation  of 
every  part,  not  to  the  outward  arbitrary  end  of  man  (so 
far  the  work  belongs  to  practical  architecture),  but 
directly  to  the  stability  of  the  whole,  to  which  the  posi- 
tion, dimensions,  and  form  of  every  part  must  have  so 


278  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  BK.  Ill 

necessary  a  relation  that,  where  it  is  possible,  if  any  one 
part  were  taken  away,  the  whole  would  fall  to  pieces. 
For  just  because  each  part  bears  just  as  much  as  it 
conveniently  can,  and  each  is  supported  just  where  it 
requires  to  be  and  just  to  the  necessary  extent,  this 
opposition  unfolds  itself,  this  conflict  between  rigidity  and 
gravity,  which  constitutes  the  life,  the  manifestation  of  will, 
in  the  stone,  becomes  completely  visible,  and  these  lowest 
grades  of  the  objectivity  of  will  reveal  themselves  dis- 
tinctly. In  the  same  way  the  form  of  each  part  must  not 
be  determined  arbitrarily,  but  by  its  end,  and  its  relation 
to  the  whole.  The  column  is  the  simplest  form  of  support, 
determined  simply  by  its  end :  the  twisted  column  is  taste- 
less ;  the  four-cornered  pillar  is  in  fact  not  so  simple  as 
the  round  column,  though  it  happens  that  it  is  easier  to 
make  it.  The  forms  also  of  frieze,  rafter,  roof,  and  dome 
are  entirely  determined  by  their  immediate  end,  and 
explain  themselves  from  it.  The  decoration  of  capitals, 
&c,  belongs  to  sculpture,  not  to  architecture,  which 
tidmits  it  merely  as  extraneous  ornament,  and  could 
dispense  with  it.  According  to  what  has  been  said,  it  is 
absolutely  necessary,  in  order  to  understand  the  aesthetic 
satisfaction  afforded  by  a  work  of  architecture,  to  have 
immediate  knowledge  through  perception  of  its  matter  as 
regards  its  weight,  rigidity,  and  cohesion,  and  our  pleasure 
in  such  a  work  would  suddenly  be  very  much  diminished 
by  the  discovery  that  the  material  used  was  pumice-stone; 
for  then  it  would  appear  to  us  as  a  kind  of  sham  build- 
ing. We  would  be  affected  in  almost  the  same  way  if 
we  were  told  that  it  was  made  of  wood,  when  we  had 
supposed  it  to  be  of  stone,  just  because  this  alters  and 
destroys  the  relation  between  rigidity  and  gravity,  and 
consequently  the  significance  and  necessity  of  all  the 
parts,  for  these  natural  forces  reveal  themselves  in  a  far 
weaker  degree  in  a  wooden  building.  Therefore  no  real 
work  of  architecture  as  a  fine  art  can  be  made  of  wood, 
although  it  assumes  all  forms  so  easily ;  this  can  only  be 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA  :  THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.    in 

explained  by  our  theory.  If  we  were  distinctly  told  that 
a  building,  the  sight  of  which  gave  us  pleasure,  was 
made  of  different  kinds  of  material  of  very  unequal 
weight  and  consistency,  but  not  distinguishable  to  the 
eye,  the  whole  building  would  become  as  utterly  inca- 
pable of  affording  us  pleasure  as  a  poem  in  an  unknown 
language.  All  this  proves  that  architecture  does  not 
affect  us  mathematically,  but  also  dynamically,  and  that 
what  speaks  to  us  through  it,  is  not  mere  form  and 
symmetry,  but  rather  those  fundamental  forces  of  nature, 
those  first  Ideas,  those  lowest  grades  of  the  objectivity 
of  will.  The  regularity  of  the  building  and  its  parts  is 
partly  produced  by  the  direct  adaptation  of  each  member 
to  the  stability  of  the  whole,  partly  it  serves  to  facilitate 
the  survey  and  comprehension  of  the  whole,  and  finally, 
regular  figures  to  some  extent  enhance  the  beauty  be- 
cause they  reveal  the  constitution  of  space  as  such.  But 
all  this  is  of  subordinate  value  and  necessity,  and  by  no 
means  the  chief  concern ;  indeed,  symmetry  is  not  in- 
variably demanded,  as  ruins  are  still  beautiful. 

Works  of  architecture  have  further  quite  a  special 
relation  to  light;  they  gain  a  double  beauty  in  the  full 
sunshine,  with  the  blue  sky  as  a  background,  and  again 
they  have  quite  a  different  effect  by  moonlight.  There- 
fore, when  a  beautiful  work  of  architecture  is  to  be 
erected,  special  attention  is  always  paid  to  the  effects  of 
the  light  and  to  the  climate.  The  reason  of  all  this  is, 
indeed,  principally  that  all  the  parts  and  their  relations 
are  only  made  clearly  visible  by  a  bright,  strong  light ; 
but  besides  this  I  am  of  opinion  that  it  is  the  function 
of  architecture  to  reveal  the  nature  of  light  just  as  it 
reveals  that  of  things  so  opposite  to  it  as  gravity  and 
rigidity.  For  the  light  is  intercepted,  confined,  and 
reflected  by  the  great  opaque,  sharply  outlined,  and 
variously  formed  masses  of  stone,  and  thus  it  unfolds 
its  nature  and  qualities  in  the  purest  and  clearest  way, 
to  the  great  pleasure  of  the  beholders,  for  light  is  the 


2&>  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  bk.  iil 

most  joy-giving  of  things,  as  the  condition  and  the 
objective  correlative  of  the  most  perfect  kind  of  know- 
ledge of  perception. 

Now,  because  the  Ideas  which  architecture  brings  to 
clear  perception,  are  the  lowest  grades  of  the  objectivity 
of  will,  and  consequently  their  objective  significance, 
which  architecture  reveals  to  us,  is  comparatively  small ; 
the  aesthetic  pleasure  of  looking  at  a  beautiful  building 
in  a  good  light  will  lie,  not  so  much  in  the  comprehen- 
sion of  the  Idea,  as  in  the  subjective  correlative  which 
accompanies  this  comprehension;  it  will  consist  pre- 
eminently in  the  fact  that  the  beholder,  set  free  from  the 
kind  of  knowledge  that  belongs  to  the  individual,  and 
which  serves  the  will  and  follows  the  principle  of  suffi- 
cient reason,  is  raised  to  that  of  the  pure  subject  of 
knowing  free  from  will.  It  will  consist  then  principally 
in  pure  contemplation  itself,  free  from  all  the  suffering  of 
will  and  of  individuality.  In  this  respect  the  opposite 
of  architecture,  and  the  other  extreme  of  the  series  of 
the  fine  arts,  is  the  drama,  which  brings  to  knowledge 
the  most  significant  Ideas.  Therefore  in  the  aesthetic 
pleasure  afiorded  by  the  drama  the  objective  side  is 
throughout  predominant. 

-^  Architecture  has  this  distinction  from  plastic  art  and 
poetry :  it  does  not  give  us  a  copy  but  the  thing  itself. 
It  does  not  repeat,  as  they  do,  the  known  Idea,  so  that 
the  artist  lends  his  eyes  to  the  beholder,  but  in  it  the  artist 
merely  presents  the  object  to  the  beholder,  and  facilitates 
for  him  the  comprehension  of  the  Idea  by  bringing  the 
actual,  individual  object  to  a  distinct  and  complete  expres- 
sion of  its  nature. 

Unlike  the  works  of  the  other  arts,  those  of  architec- 
.  ture  are  very  seldom  executed  for  purely  aesthetic  ends. 
These  are  generally  subordinated  to  other  useful  ends 
which  are  foreign  to  art  itself.  Thus  the  great  merit  of 
the  architect  consists  in  achieving  and  attaining  the  pure 
aesthetic  ends,  in  spite  of  their  subordination   to    other 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA  :  THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.     281 

ends  which  are  foreign  to  them.  This  he  does  by 
cleverly  adapting  them  in  a  variety  of  ways  to  the 
arbitrary  ends  in  view,  and  by  rightly  judging  which  form 
of  aesthetical  architectonic  beauty  is  compatible  and  may 
be  associated  with  a  temple,  which  with  a  palace,  which 
with  a  prison,  and  so  forth.  The  more  a  harsh  climate 
increases  these  demands  of  necessity  and  utility,  deter- 
mines them  definitely,  and  prescribes  them  more  inevi- 
tably, the  less  free  play  has  beauty  in  architecture.  In 
the  mild  climate  of  India,  Egypt,  Greece,  and  Eome, 
where  the  demands  of  necessity  were  fewer  and  less 
definite,  architecture  could  follow  its  aesthetic  ends  with 
the  greatest  freedom.  But  under  a  northern  sky  this 
was  sorely  hindered.  Here,  when  caissons,  pointed  roofs 
and  towers  were  what  was  demanded,  architecture  could 
only  unfold  its  own  beauty  within  very  narrow  limits, 
and  therefore  it  was  obliged  to  make  amends  by  resorting 
all  the  more  to  the  borrowed  ornaments  of  sculpture,  as 
is  seen  in  Gothic  architecture. 

We  thus  see  that  architecture  is  greatly  restricted  by 
the  demands  of  necessity  and  utility ;  but  on  the  other 
hand  it  has  in  them  a  very  powerful  support,  for,  on 
account  of  the  magnitude  and  costliness  of  its  works,  and 
the  narrow  sphere  of  its  aesthetic  effect,  it  could  not  con- 
tinue to  exist  merely  as  a  fine  art,  if  it  had  not  also,  as  a 
useful  and  necessary  profession,  a  firm  and  honourable 
place  among  the  occupations  of  men.  It  is  the  want 
of  this  that  prevents  another  art  from  taking  its  place 
beside  architecture  as  a  sister  art,  although  in  an 
aesthetical  point  of  view  it  is  quite  properly  to  be  classed 
along  with  it  as  its  counterpart ;  I  mean  artistic  arrange- 
ments of  water.  For  what  architecture  accomplishes 
for  the  Idea  of  gravity  when  it  appears  in  connection 
with  that  of  rigidity,  hydraulics  accomplishes  for  the 
same  Idea,  when  it  is  connected  with  fluidity,  i.e., 
formlessness,  the  greatest  mobility  and  transparency. 
Leaping  waterfalls    foaming   and   tumbling   over   rocks, 


282  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA, 


BK.  III. 


cataracts  dispersed  into  floating  spray,  springs  gushing 
up  as  high  columns  of  water,  and  clear  reflecting  lakes, 
reveal  the  Ideas  of  fluid  and  heavy  matter,  in  precisely 
the  same  way  as  the  works  of  architecture  unfold  the 
Ideas  of  rigid  matter.  Artistic  hydraulics,  however, 
obtains  no  support  from  practical  hydraulics,  for,  as  a 
rule,  their  ends  cannot  be  combined ;  yet,  in  exceptional 
cases,  this  happens ;  for  example,  in  the  Cascata  di  Trevi 
at  Eome.1 

§  44.  What  the  two  arts  we  have  spoken  of  accom- 
plish for  these  lowest  grades  of  the  objectivity  of  will, 
is  performed  for  the  higher  grades  of  vegetable  nature 
I  by  artistic  horticulture.  The  landscape  beauty  of  a 
scene  consists,  for  the  most  part,  in  the  multiplicity  of 
natural  objects  which  are  present  in  it,  and  then  in  the 
fact  that  they  are  clearly  separated,  appear  distinctly, 
and  yet  exhibit  a  fitting  connection  and  alternation. 
These  two  conditions  are  assisted  and  promoted  by  land- 
scape-gardening, but  it  has  by  no  means  such  a  mastery 
over  its  material  as  architecture,  and  therefore  its  effect 
is  limited.  The  beauty  with  which  it  is  concerned 
belongs  almost  exclusively  to  nature ;  it  has  done  little 
for  it ;  and,  on  the  other  hand,  it  can  do  little  against 
unfavourable  nature,  and  when  nature  works,  not  for  it, 
but  against  it,  its  achievements  are  small. 

The  vegetable  world  offers  itself  everywhere  for  aesthe- 
tic enjoyment  without  the  medium  of  art ;  but  so  far  as 
it  is  an  object  of  art,  it  belongs  principally  to  landscape- 
/  painting ;  to  the  province  of  which  all  the  rest  of  uncon- 
scious nature  also  belongs.  In  paintings  of  still  life,  and 
of  mere  architecture,  ruins,  interiors  of  churches,  &c,  the 
subjective  side  of  aesthetic  pleasure  is  predominant,  i.e., 
our  satisfaction  does  not  lie  principally  in  the  direct  com- 
prehension of  the  represented  Ideas,  but  rather  in  the 
subjective  correlative  of  this  comprehension,  pure,  will- 
less  knowing.     For,  because  the  painter  lets  us  see  these 

1  Cf.  Chap.  35  of  Supplement 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA  :  THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.    283 

things  through  his  eyes,  we  at  once  receive  a  sympathe- 
tic and  reflected  sense  of  the  deep  spiritual  peace  and 
absolute  silence  of  the  will,  which  were  necessary  in 
order  to  enter  with  knowledge  so  entirely  into  these  life- 
less objects,  and  comprehend  them  with  such  love,  i.e., 
in  this  case  with  such  a  degree  of  objectivity.  The  effect 
of  landscape-painting  proper  is  indeed,  as  a  whole,  of  this 
kind ;  but  because  the  Ideas  expressed  are  more  distinct 
and  significant,  as  higher  grades  of  the  objectivity  of 
will,  the  objective  side  of  aesthetic  pleasure  already  comes 
more  to  the  front  and  assumes  as  much  importance  as  the 
subjective  side.  Pure  knowing  as  such  is  no  longer  the 
paramount  consideration,  for  we  are  equally  affected  by 
the  known  Platonic  Idea,  the  world  as  idea  at  an  import- 
ant grade  of  the  objectification  of  will. 

But  a  far  higher  grade  is  revealed  by  animal  painting 
and  sculpture.  Of  the  latter  we  have  some  important 
antique  remains  ;  for  example,  horses  at  Venice,  on  Monte 
Cavallo,  and  on  the  Elgin  Marbles,  also  at  Florence  in 
bronze  and  marble;  the  ancient  boar,  howling  wolves, 
the  lions  in  the  arsenal  at  Venice,  also  in  the  Vatican  a 
whole  room  almost  filled  with  ancient  animals,  &c.  In 
these  representations  the  objective  side  of  aesthetic  plea- 
sure obtains  a  marked  predominance  over  the  subjective. 
The  peace  of  the  subject  which  knows  these  Ideas,  which 
has  silenced  its  own  will,  is  indeed  present,  as  it  is  in  all 
aesthetic  contemplation ;  but  its  effect  is  not  felt,  for  we 
are  occupied  with  the  restlessness  and  impetuosity  of  the 
will  represented.  It  is  that  very  will,  which  constitutes 
our  own  nature,  that  here  appears  to  us  in  forms,  in 
which  its  manifestation  is  not,  as  in  us,  controlled  and 
tempered  by  intellect,  but  exhibits  itself  in  stronger 
traits,  and  with  a  distinctness  that  borders  on  the 
grotesque  and  monstrous.  For  this  very  reason  there  is 
no  concealment ;  it  is  free,  naive,  open  as  the  day,  and 
this  is  the  cause  of  our  interest  in  animals.  The  charac- 
teristics of  species  appeared  already  in  the  representation 


284  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  bk.  iil 

of  plants,  but  showed  itself  only  in  the  forms ;  here  it 
becomes  much  more  distinct,  and  expresses  itself  not  only 
in  the  form,  but  in  the  action,  position,  and  mien,  yet 
always  merely  as  the  character  of  the  species,  not  of 
the  individual.  This  knowledge  of  the  Ideas  of  higher 
grades,  which  in  painting  we  receive  through  extraneous 
means,  we  may  gain  directly  by  the  pure  contemplative 
perception  of  plants,  and  observation  of  beasts,  and  indeed 
of  the  latter  in  their  free,  natural,  and  unrestrained  state. 
The  objective  contemplation  of  their  manifold  and  mar- 
vellous forms,  and  of  their  actions  and  behaviour,  is  an 
instructive  lesson  from  the  great  book  of  nature,  it  is  a 
deciphering  of  the  true  signatura  rerum.1  We  see  in 
them  the  manifold  grades  and  modes  of  the  manifestation 
of  will,  which  in  all  beings  of  one  and  the  same  grade, 
wills  always  in  the  same  way,  which  objectifies  itself  as 
life,  as  existence  in  such  endless  variety,  and  such  diffe- 
rent forms,  which  are  all  adaptations  to  the  different 
external  circumstances,  and  may  be  compared  to  many 
variations  on  the  same  theme.  But  if  we  had  to  com- 
municate to  the  observer,  for  reflection;  and  in  a  word, 
the  explanation  of  their  inner  nature,  it  would  be  best  to 
make  use  of  that  Sanscrit  formula  which  occurs  so  often 
in  the  sacred  books  of  the  Hindoos,  and  is  called  Maha- 
vakya,  ie.y  the  great  word :  "  Tat  twam  asi"  which  means, 
"  this  living  thing  art  thou." 

§  45.  The  great  problem  of  historical  painting  and 
sculpture  is  to  express  directly  and  for  perception  the 
Idea  in  which  the  will  reaches  the  highest  grade  of  its 
objectification.  The  objective  side  of  the  pleasure 
afforded  by  the  beautiful  is  here  always  predominant, 

1  Jakob  Bbhm  in  his  book,  "  de  this  is  the  language  of  nature  when 

Signatura  Rerum,"  ch.  i.f  §  13-15,  everything  speaks  out   of   its  own 

eays,  "  There  is  nothing  in  nature  property,  and  continually  manifests 

that  does  not  manifest  its  internal  and  declares    itself,  ...  for  each 

form   externally ;    for  the   internal  thing  reveals  its  mother,  which  thus 

continually  labours  to  manifest  it-  gives  the  essence  and  the  will  to  the 

■elf.  .  .  .  Everything  has  its  language  form, 
by  which  to  reveal  itself.  .  .  .  And 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA  :  THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.    285 

and  the  subjective  side  has  retired  into  the  background. 
It  is  further  to  be  observed  that  at  the  next  grade  below 
this,  animal  painting,  the  characteristic  is  entirely  one 
with  the  beautiful;  the  most  characteristic  lion,  wolf, 
horse,  sheep,  or  ox,  was  always  the  most  beautiful  also. 
The  reason  of  this  is  that  animals  have  only  the  character 
of  their  species,  no  individual  character.  In  the  repre- 
sentation of  men  the  character  of  the  species  is  separated 
from  that  of  the  individual ;  the  former  is  now  called 
beauty  (entirely  in  the  objective  sense),  but  the  latter 
retains  the  name,  character,  or  expression,  and  the  new 
difficulty  arises  of  representing  both,  at  once  and  com- 
pletely, in  the  same  individual. 

Human  beauty  is  an  objective  expression,  which  means 
i^the  fullest  objectifi  cation  of  will  at  the  highest  grade  at 
which  it  is  knowable,  the  Idea  of  man  in  general,  com- 
pletely expressed  in  the  sensible  form.     But  however 
much  the  objective  side  of  the  beautiful  appears  here, 
the  subjective  side  still  always  accompanies  it.    And  just 
because  no   object  transports  us  so  quickly  into  pure 
{esthetic   contemplation,  as    the   most   beautiful    human 
countenance  and  form,  at   the   sight  of  which  we   are 
instantly  filled  with  unspeakable  satisfaction,  and  raised 
above  ourselves  and  all  that  troubles  us ;  this  is  only 
possible  because  this  most  distinct  and  purest  knowledge 
of  will  raises  us  most  easily  and  quickly  to  the  state  of 
pure  knowing,  in  which  our  personality,  our  will  with  its 
constant  pain,  disappears,  so  long  as  the  pure  aesthetic 
pleasure  lasts.     Therefore  it  is  that  Goethe  says :  "  No 
evil  can  touch  him  who  looks  on  human  beauty ;  he  feels 
himself  at  one  with  himself  and  with  the  world."     That 
a  beautiful  human  form  is  produced  by  nature  must  be 
explained  in  this  way.     At  this  its  highest  grade  the  will 
objectifies  itself  in  an  individual ;  and  therefore  through 
circumstances  and  its  own  power  it  completely  overcomes 
all  the  hindrances  and  opposition  which  the  phenomena 
of  the  lower  grades  present  to  it.     Such  are  the  forces 


286  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  bk.  hi. 

of  nature,  from  which  the  will  must  always  first  extort 
and  win  back  the  matter  that  belongs  to  all  its  mani- 
festations.    Further,    the    phenomenon    of    will    at    its 
higher  grades  always  has  multiplicity  in  its  form.     Even 
the  tree  is  only  a  systematic  aggregate  of  innumerably 
repeated    sprouting    fibres.     This    combination    assumes 
greater  complexity  in  higher  forms,  and  the  human  body 
is  an  exceedingly  complex  system  of  different  parts,  each 
of  which  has  a  peculiar  life  of  its  own,  vita  propria,  sub- 
ordinate to  the  whole.     Now  that  all  these  parts  are  in 
the   proper   fashion   subordinate  to   the  whole,  and  co- 
ordinate   to    each    other,   that    they   all  work    together 
harmoniously  for  the  expression  of  the  whole,  nothing 
superfluous,  nothing  restricted;  all  these   are  the  rare 
conditions,  whose  result  is  beauty,  the  completely  ex- 
pressed  character  of  the   species.     So  is   it  in  nature. 
But  how  in  art  ?     One  would  suppose  that  art  achieved 
the  beautiful  by  imitating  nature.     But  how  is  the  artist 
to  recognise  the  perfect  work  which  is  to  be  imitated, 
and  distinguish  it  from  the  failures,  if  he  does  not  antici- 
pate the  beautiful  before  experience*     And  besides  this, 
has    nature    ever   produced    a    human    being    perfectly 
beautiful    in    all    his   parts?     It   has    accordingly    been 
thought  that  the  artist  must  seek  out  the  beautiful  parts, 
distributed  among  a  number  of  different  human  beings, 
and  out  of  them  construct  a  beautiful  whole ;  a  perverse 
and  foolish  opinion.     For  it  will  be  asked,  how  is  he  to 
know  that  just  these  forms  and  not  others  are  beautiful  ? 
We  also  see  what  kind  of  success  attended  the  efforts 
of  the  old  German  painters  to  achieve  the  beautiful  by 
imitating    nature.      Observe  their    naked    figures.      No 
knowledge  of   the  beautiful  is   possible    purely  a    pos- 
teriori,  and  from  mere  experience ;  it  is  always,  at  least 
in  part,  a  priori,  although  quite  different  in  kind,  from 
the  forms  of  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason,  of  which 
we  are  conscious  a  priori.     These  concern  the  universal 
form  of  phenomena  as  such,  as  it  constitutes  the  possi- 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA  :   THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.     287 

bility  of  knowledge  in  general,  the  universal  how  of  all 
phenomena,  and  from  this  knowledge  proceed  mathe- 
matics and  pure  natural  science.  But  this  other  kind  of 
knowledge  a  priori,  which  makes  it  possible  to  express 
the  beautiful,  concerns,  not  the  form  but  the  content  of 
phenomena,  not  the  how  but  the  what  of  the  phenomenon. 
That  we  all  recognise  human  beauty  when  we  see  it,  but 
that  in  the  true  artist  this  takes  place  with  such  clear- 
ness that  he  shows  it  as  he  has  never  seen  it,  and  sur- 

/  passes  nature  in  his  representation ;  this  is  only  possible 
because  we  ourselves  are  the  will  whose  adequate  objecti- 
fication  at  its  highest  grade  is  here  to  be  judged  and 
discovered.  Thus  alone  have  we  in  fact  an  anticipation 
of  that  which  nature  (which  is  just  the  will  that  consti- 
tutes our  own  being)  strives  to  express.  And  in  the  true 
genius  this  anticipation  is  accompanied  by  so  great  a 
degree  of  intelligence  that  he  recognises  the  Idea  in  the 
particular   thing,  and   thus,  as  it  were,  understands  the 

\  half-uttered  speech  of  nature,  and  articulates  clearly  what 
she  only  stammered  forth.  He  expresses  in  the  hard 
marble  that  beauty  of  form  which  in  a  thousand  attempts 
jshe  failed  to  produce,  he  presents  it  to  nature,  saying,  as 
it  were,  to  her,  "  That  is  what  you  wanted  to  say !"  And 
whoever  is  able  to  judge  replies,  "  Yes,  that  is  it."  Only 
in  this  way  was  it  possible  for  the  genius  of  the  Greeks 
to  find  the  type  of  human  beauty  and  establish  it  as  a 
canon  for  the  school  of  sculpture ;  and  only  by  virtue  of 
such  an  anticipation  is  it  possible  for  all  of  us  to  recog- 
nise beauty,  when  it  has  actually  been  achieved  by  nature 
in  the  particular  case.  This  anticipation  is  the  Ideal. 
It  is  the  Idea  so  far  as  it  is  known  a  priori,  at  least  half, 
and  it  becomes  practical  for  art,  because  it  corresponds 
to  and  completes  what  is  given  a  posteriori  through 
nature.  The  possibility  of  such  an  anticipation  of  the 
beautiful  a  priori  in  the  artist,  and  of  its  recognition  a 
posteriori  by  the  critic,  lies  in  the  fact  that  the  artist  and 
the  critic  are  themselves  the  "in-itself "  of   nature,  the 


288  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  bk.  hi. 

will  which  objectifies  itself.  For,  as  Empedocles  said, 
like  can  only  be  known  by  like :  only  nature  can  under- 
stand itself:  only  nature  can  fathom  itself:  but  only 
spirit  also  can  understand  spirit.1 

The  opinion,  which  is  absurd,  although  expressed  by 
the  Socrates  of  Xenophon  (Stobsei  Floril,  vol.  ii.  p.  384) 
that  the  Greeks  discovered  the  established  ideal  of  human 
beauty  empirically,  by  collecting  particular  beautiful  parts, 
uncovering  and  noting  here  a  knee,  there  an  arm,  has  an 
exact  parallel  in  the  art  of  poetry.  The  view  is  enter- 
tained, that  Shakespeare,  for  example,  observed,  and  then 
gave  forth  from  his  own  experience  of  life,  the  innumer- 
able variety  of  the  characters  in  his  dramas,  so  true, 
so  sustained,  so  profoundly  worked  out.  The  impos- 
sibility and  absurdity  of  such  an  assumption  need  not 
be  dwelt  upon.  It  is  obvious  that  the  man  of  genius 
produces  the  works  of  poetic  art  by  means  of  an 
anticipation  of  what  is  characteristic,  just  as  he  pro- 
duces the  works  of  plastic  and  pictorial  art  by  means 
of  a  prophetic  anticipation  of  the  beautiful;  yet  both 
require  experience  as  a  pattern  or  model,  for  thus  alone 
can  that  which  is  dimly  known  a  priori  be  called  into 
clear  consciousness,  and  an  intelligent  representation  of 
it  becomes  possible. 

Human  beauty  was  explained  above  as  the  fullest 
objectification  of  will  at  the  highest  grade  at  which  it 
is  knowable.  It  expresses  itself  through  the  form ;  and 
this  lies  in  space  alone,  and  has  no  necessary  connection 
with  time,  as,  for  example,  motion  has.  Thus  far  then 
we  may  say :  the  adequate  objectification  of  will  through 
a  merely  spatial  phenomenon  is  beauty,  in  the  objective 
sense.     A  plant  is  nothing  but  such  a  merely  spatial 

1  The  last  sentence  is  the  German  fluence  of   the  Hegelian  sophistry, 

of  the  il  riy  a  que  VesprU  qui  sente  that  some  might  quite  likely  say  that 

Vcitprit,  of  Helvetius.     In  the  first  an  antithesis  was  intended  here  be- 

edition   there   was   no  occasion    to  tween  "spirit  and   nature."     I  am 

point  this  out,  but  since  then  the  therefore  obliged  to  guard  myself  in 

age   has  become   so   degraded   and  express  terms  against  the  suspicion 

ignorant  through  the  stupefying  in-  of  such  vulgar  sophisms. 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA  :  THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.    289 

phenomenon  of  will;  for  no  motion,  and  consequently 
no  relation  to  time  (regarded  apart  from  its  development), 
belongs  to  the  expression  of  its  nature ;  its  mere  form 
expresses  its  whole  being  and  displays  it  openly.  But 
brutes  and  men  require,  further,  for  the  full  revelation  of 
the  will  which  is  manifested  in  them,  a  series  of  actions, 
and  thus  the  manifestation  in  them  takes  on  a  direct 
relation  to  time.  All  this  has  already  been  explained  in 
the  preceding  book ;  it  is  related  to  what  we  are  con- 
sidering at  present  in  the  following  way.  As  the  merely 
spatial  manifestation  of  will  can  objectify  it  fully  or 
defectively  at  each  definite  grade, — and  it  is  this  which 
constitutes  beauty  or  ugliness, — so  the  temporal  objecti- 
fication  of  will,  i.e.t  the  action,  and  indeed  the  direct 
action,  the  movement,  may  correspond  to  the  will,  which 
objectifies  itself  in  it,  purely  and  fully  without  foreign 
admixture,  without  superfluity,  without  defect,  only  ex- 
pressing exactly  the  act  of  will  determined  in  each  case ; 
— or  the  converse  of  all  this  may  occur.  In  the  first 
case  the  movement  is  made  with  grace,  in  the  second 
case  without  it.  Thus  as  beauty  is  the  adequate  repre- 
sentation of  will  generally,  through  its  merely  spatial 
manifestation ;  grace  is  the  adequate  representation  of  will 
through  its  temporal  manifestation,  that  is  to  say,  the 
perfectly  accurate  and  fitting  expression  of  each  act  of 
will,  through  the  movement  and  position  which  objectify 
it.  Since  movement  and  position  presuppose  the  body, 
Winckelmann's  expression  is  very  true  and  suitable, 
when  he  says, "  Grace  is  the  proper  relation  of  the  acting 
person  to  the  action"  (Works,  vol.  i.  p.  258).  It  is 
thus  evident  that  beauty  may  be  attributed  to  a  plant, 
but  no  grace,  unless  in  a  figurative  sense ;  but  to  brutes 
and  men,  both  beauty  and  grace.  Grace  consists,  accord- 
ing to  what  has  been  said,  in  every  movement  being 
performed,  and  every  position  assumed,  in  the  easiest, 
most  appropriate  and  convenient  way,  and  therefore 
being  the  pure,  adequate  expression  of  its  intention,  or  of 
vol.  I.  T 


290  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  bk.  III. 

the  act  of  will,  without  any  superfluity,  which  exhibits 
itself  as  aimless,  meaningless  bustle,  or  as  wooden  stiff- 
ness. Grace  presupposes  as  its  condition  a  true  pro- 
portion of  all  the  limbs,  and  a  symmetrical,  harmonious 
figure ;  for  complete  ease  and  evident  appropriateness  of 
all  positions  and  movements  are  only  possible  by  means 
of  these.  Grace  is  therefore  never  without  a  certain 
degree  of  beauty  of  person.  The  two,  complete  and  united, 
are  the  most  distinct  manifestation  of  will  at  the  highest 
grade  of  its  objectification. 

It  was  mentioned  above  that  in  order  lightly  to  por- 
tray man,  it  is  necessary  to  separate  the  character  of  the 
species  from  that  of  the  individual,  so  that  to  a  certain 
extent  every  man  expresses  an  Idea  peculiar  to  himself, 
as  was  said  in  the  last  book.  Therefore  the  arts  whose 
aim  is  the  representation  of  the  Idea  of  man,  have  as 
their  problem,  not  only  beauty,  the  character  of  the 
species,  but  also  the  character  of  the  individual,  which  is 
called,  par  excellence,  character.  But  this  is  only  the  case 
in  so  far  as  this  character  is  to  be  regarded,  not  as  some- 
thing accidental  and  quite  peculiar  to  the  man  as  a 
single  individual,  but  as  a  side  of  the  Idea  of  humanity 
which  is  specially  apparent  in  this  individual,  and  the 
representation  of  which  is  therefore  of  assistance  in 
revealing  this  Idea.  Thus  the  character,  although  as 
such  it  is  individual,  must  yet  be  Ideal,  that  is,  its  signi- 
ficance in  relation  to  the  Idea  of  humanity  generally  (the 
objectifying  of  which  it  assists  in  its  own  way)  must  be 
comprehended  and  expressed  with  special  prominence. 
Apart  from  this  the  representation  is  a  portrait,  a  copy  of 
the  individual  as  such,  with  all  his  accidental  qualities. 
And  even  the  portrait  ought  to  be,  as  Winckelmann  says, 
the  ideal  of  the  individual. 

That  cfiaracter  which  is  to  be  ideally  comprehended, 
as  the  prominence  of  a  special  side  of  the  Idea  of  hu- 
manity, expresses  itself  visibly,  partly  through  permanent 
physiognomy   and   bodily  form,  partly   through   passing 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA  :   THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.     291 

emotion  and  passion,  the  reciprocal  modification  of  know- 
ing and  willing  by  each  other,  which  is  all  exhibited  in 
the  mien  and  movements.  Since  the  individual  always 
belongs  to  humanity,  and,  on  the  other  hand,  humanity 
always  reveals  itself  in  the  individual  with  what  is 
indeed  peculiar  ideal  significance,  beauty  must  not  be 
destroyed  by  character  nor  character  by  beauty.  For  if 
the  character  of  the  species  is  annulled  by  that  of  the 
individual,  the  result  is  caricature ;  and  if  the  character  of 
the  individual  is  annulled  by  that  of  the  species,  the 
result  is  an  absence  of  meaning.  Therefore  the  repre- 
sentation which  aims  at  beauty,  as  sculpture  principally 
does,  will  yet  always  modify  this  (the  character  of  the 
species),  in  some  respect,  by  the  individual  character,  and 
will  always  express  the  Idea  of  man  in  a  definite  indi- 
vidual manner,  giving  prominence  to  a  special  side  of  it. 
For  the  human  individual  as  such  has  to  a  certain  extent 
the  dignity  of  a  special  Idea,  and  it  is  essential  to  the 
Idea  of  man  that  it  should  express  itself  in  individuals 
of  special  significance.  Therefore  we  find  in  the  works 
of  the  ancients,  that  the  beauty  distinctly  comprehended 
by  them,  is  not  expressed  in  one  form,  but  in  many 
forms  of  different  character.  It  is  always  apprehended, 
as  it  were,  from  a  different  side,  and  expressed  in  one 
way  in  Apollo,  in  another  way  in  Bacchus,  in  another  in 
Hercules,  in  another  in  Antinous ;  indeed  the  character- 
istic may  limit  the  beautiful,  and  finally  extend  even  to 
hideousness,  in  the  drunken  Silenus,  in  the  Faun,  &c. 
If  the  characteristic  goes  so  far  as  actually  to  annul  the 
character  of  the  species,  if  it  extends  to  the  unnatural,  it 
becomes  caricuture.  But  we  can  far  less  afford  to  allow 
grace  to  be  interfered  with  by  what  is  characteristic  than 
even  beauty,  for  graceful  position  and  movement  are 
demanded  for  the  expression  of  the  character  also ;  but 
yet  it  must  be  achieved  in  the  way  which  is  most  fitting, 
appropriate,  and  easy  for  the  person.  This  will  be 
observed,  not  only  by  the  sculptor  and  the  painter,  but 


292  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  bk.  hi. 

also  by  every  good  actor ;  otherwise  caricature  will  appear 
here  also  as  grimace  or  distortion. 

In  sculpture,  beauty  and  grace  are  the  principal  concern. 
The  special  character  of  the  mind,  appearing  in  emotion, 
passion,  alternations  of  knowing  and  willing,  which  can 
only  be  represented  by  the  expression  of  the  countenance 
and  the  gestures,  is  the  peculiar  sphere  of  painting.  For 
although  eyes  and  colour,  which  lie  outside  the  province 
of  sculpture,  contribute  much  to  beauty,  they  are  yet  far 
more  essential  to  character.  Further,  beauty  unfolds  it- 
self more  completely  when  it  is  contemplated  from  various 
points  of  view ;  but  the  expression,  the  character,  can  only 
be  completely  comprehended  from  one  point  of  view. 

Because  beauty  is  obviously  the  chief  aim  of  sculpture, 
Lessing  tried  to  explain  the  fact  that  the  Laocoon  does  not 
cry  out,  by  saying  that  crying  out  is  incompatible  with 
beauty.  The  Laocoon  formed  for  Lessing  the  theme,  or 
at  least  the  text  of  a  work  of  his  own,  and  both  before 
and  after  him  a  great  deal  has  been  written  on  the  sub- 
ject I  may  therefore  be  allowed  to  express  my  views 
about  it  in  passing,  although  so  special  a  discussion  does 
not  properly  belong  to  the  scheme  of  this  work,  which  is 
throughout  concerned  with  what  is  general. 

§  46.  That  Laocoon,  in  the  celebrated  £roup,  does  not 
cry  out  is  obvious,  and  the  universal  and  ever-renewed 
surprise  at  this  must  be  occasioned  by  the  fact  that  any 
of  us  would  cry  out  if  we  were  in  his  place.  And  nature 
demands  that  it  should  be  so ;  for  in  the  case  of  the 
acutest  physical  pain,  and  the  sudden  seizure  by  the 
greatest  bodily  fear,  all  reflection,  that  might  have 
inculcated  silent  endurance,  is  entirely  expelled  from 
consciousness,  and  nature  relieves  itself  by  crying  out, 
thus  expressing  both  the  pain  and  the  fear,  summoning 
the  deliverer  and  terrifying  the  assailer.  Thus  Winckel- 
mann  missed  the  expression  of  crying  out;  but  as  he 
wished  to  justify  the  artist  he  turned  Laocoon  into  a 
Stoic,  who  considered  it  beneath  his  dignity  to  cry  out 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA:  THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.    293 

secundum  naturam,  but  added  to  his  pain  the  useless 
constraint  of  suppressing  all  utterance  of  it.  Winckel- 
mann  therefore  sees  in  him  "  the  tried  spirit  of  a  great 
man,  who  writhes  in  agony,  and  yet  seeks  to  suppress 
the  utterance  of  his  feeling,  and  to  lock  it  up  in  himself. 
He  does  not  break  forth  into  loud  cries,  as  in  Virgil,  but 
only  anxious  sighs  escape  him,"  &c.  (Works,  vol.  vii. 
p.  98,  and  at  greater  length  in  vol.  vi.  p.  104).  Now 
Lessing  criticised  this  opinion  of  Winckelmann's  in  his 
Laocoon,  and  improved  it  in  the  way  mentioned  above. 
In  place  of  the  psychological  he  gave  the  purely  aesthetic 
reason  that  beauty,  the  principle  of  ancient  art,  does  not 
admit  of  the  expression  of  crying  out.  Another  argu- 
ment which  he  added  to  this,  that  a  merely  passing  state 
incapable  of  duration  ought  not  to  be  represented  in 
motionless  works  of  art,  has  a  hundred  examples  of  most 
excellent  figures  against  it,  which  are  fixed  in  merely 
transitory  movements,  dancing,  wrestling,  catching,  &c. 
Indeed  Goethe,  in  the  essay  on  the  Laocoon,  which 
opens  the  Propylaen  (p.  8),  holds  that  the  choice  of 
such  a  merely  fleeting  movement  is  absolutely  necessary. 
In  our  own  day  Hirt  (Horen,  1797,  tenth  St.)  finally 
decided  the  point,  deducing  eveiything  from  the  highest 
truth  of  expression,  that  Laocoon  does  not  cry  out, 
because  he  can  no  longer  do  so,  as  he  is  at  the  point 
of  death  from  choking.  Lastly,  Fernow  ("Komische 
Studien,"  vol  i.  p.  246)  expounded  and  weighed  all 
these  opinions;  he  added,  however,  no  new  one  of  his 
own,  but  combined  these  three  eclectically. 

I  cannot  but  wonder  that  such  thoughtful  and  acute 
men  should  laboriously  bring  far-fetched  and  insufficient 
reasons,  should  resort  to  psychological  and  physiological 
arguments,  to  explain  a  matter  the  reason  of  which  lies 
so  near  at  hand,  and  is  obvious  at  once  to  the  unpre- 
judiced ;  and  especially  I  wonder  that  Lessing,  who  came 
so  near  the  true  explanation,  should  yet  have  entirely 
\  missed  the  real  point. 


294  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  BK.  ill. 

Before  all  psychological  and  physiological  inquiries  as 
to  whether  Laocoon  would  cry  out  in  his  position  or  not 
(and  I  certainly  affirm  that  he  would),  it  must  be  decided 
as  regards  the  group  in  question,  that  crying  out  ought 
not  to  be  expressed  in  it,  for  the  simple  reason  that  its 
expression  lies  quite  outside  the  province  of  sculpture. 
A  shrieking  Laocoon  could  not  be  produced  in  marble, 
but  only  a  figure  with  the  mouth  open  vainly  endeavour- 
ing to  shriek ;  a  Laocoon  whose  voice  has  stuck  in  his 
*     throat,  vox  faucibus  haesit.      The  essence  of  shrieking, 
\  and  consequently  its  effect  upon  the  onlooker,  lies  entirely 
Mn  sound;   not  in  the  distortion  of  the  mouth.      This 
phenomenon,   which    necessarily  accompanies   shrieking, 
derives   motive  and  justification   only  from   the   sound 
produced  by   means   of  it;  then   it  is  permissible  and 
indeed   necessary,  as   characteristic  of  the  action,  even 
though  it  interferes  with  beauty.     But  in  plastic  art,  to 
which  the  representation  of  shrieking  is  quite  foreign  and 
impossible,   it  would   be  actual   folly  to  represent    the 
medium  of  violent  shrieking,  the  distorted  mouth,  which 
would  disturb  all  the  features  and  the  remainder  of  the 
expression ;  for  thus  at  the  sacrifice  of  many  other  things 
the   means   would    be   represented,   while    its    end,   the 
shrieking  itself,  and  its  effect  upon  our  feelings,  would 
be  left  out.     Nay  more,  there  would  be  produced  the 
spectacle  of  a  continuous  effort  without  effect,  which  is 
always  ridiculous,  and  may  really  be  compared  to  what 
happened  when  some  one  for  a  joke  stopped  the  horn  of 
a  night  watchman  with  wax  while  he  was  asleep,  and 
then  awoke  him  with  the  cry  of  fire,  and  amused  him- 
self by  watching  his  vain  endeavours  to  blow  the  horn. 
When,  on  the  other  hand,  the  expression  of  shrieking  lies 
in  the  province  of  poetic  or  histrionic  art,  it  is  quite 
admissible,  because  it  helps  to  express  the  truth,  i.e.,  the 
complete  expression  of  the  Idea.     Thus  it  is  with  poetry, 
which  claims  the  assistance  of  the  imagination  of  the 
reader,  in  order  to  enable  it  to  represent  things  percep- 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA:   THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.     295 

tibly.  Therefore  Virgil  makes  Laocoon  cry  out  like  the 
bellowing  of  an  ox  that  has  broken  loose  after  being 
struck  by  the  axe;  and  Homer  (II.  xx.  48—53)  makes 
Mars  and  Minerva  shriek  horribly,  without  derogating 
from  their  divine  dignity  or  beauty.  The  same  with 
acting;  Laocoon  on  the  stage  would  certainly  have  to 
shriek.  Sophocles  makes  Philoctetus  cry  out,  and,  on 
the  ancient  stage  at  any  rate,  he  must  actually  have 
done  so.  As  a  case  in  point,  I  remember  having  seen  in 
London  the  great  actor  Kemble  play  in  a  piece  called 
Pizarro,  translated  from  the  German.  He  took  the  part 
of  the  American,  a  half-savage,  but  of  very  noble  char- 
acter. When  he  was  wounded  he  cried  out  loudly  and 
wildly,  which  had  a  great  and  admirable  effect,  for  it  was 
exceedingly  characteristic  and  therefore  assisted  the  truth 
of  the  representation  very  much.  On  the  other  hand,  a 
painted  or  sculptured  model  of  a  man  shrieking,  would 
be  much  more  absurd  than  the  painted  music  which  is 
censured  in  Goethe's  Propylaen.  For  shrieking  does  far 
more  injury  to  the  expression  and  beauty  of  the  whole 
than  music,  which  at  the  most  only  occupies  the  hands 
and  arms,  and  is  to  be  looked  upon  as  an  occupation 
characteristic  of  the  person ;  indeed  thus  far  it  may  quite 
rightly  be  painted,  as  long  as  it  demands  no  violent 
movement  of  the  body,  or  distortion  of  the  mouth :  for 
example,  St.  Cecilia  at  the  organ,  Raphael's  violin-player 
in  the  Sciarra  Gallery  at  Rome,  and  others.  Since  then, 
on  account  of  the  limits  of  the  art,  the  pain  of  Laocoon 
must  not  be  expressed  by  shrieking,  the  artist  was 
obliged  to  employ  every  other  expression  of  pain ;  this 
he  has  done  in  the  most  perfect  manner,  as  is  ably  de- 
scribed by  Winckelmann  (Works,  vol.  vi.  p.  104),  whose 
admirable  account  thus  retains  its  full  value  and  truth,  as 
soon  as  we  abstract  from  the  stoical  view  which  under- 
lies it.1 

1  This  digression  is  worked  out  more  fully  in  the  36th  Chapter  of  the. 
Supplement. 


296  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  bk.  iil 

§  47.  Because  beauty  accompanied  with  grace  is  the 
principal  object  of  sculpture,  it  loves  nakedness,  and 
allows  clothing  only  so  far  as  it  does  not  conceal  the 
form.  It  makes  use  of  drapery,  not  as  a  covering,  but  as 
a  means  of  exhibiting  the  form,  a  method  of  exposition 
that  gives  much  exercise  to  the  understanding,  for  it 
can  only  arrive  at  a  perception  of  the  cause,  the  form 
of  the  body,  through  the  only  directly  given  effect, 
the  drapery.  Thus  to  a  certain  extent  drapery  is  in 
sculpture  what  fore-shortening  is  in  painting.  Both  are 
suggestions,  yet  not  symbolical,  but  such  that,  if  they 
are  successful,  they  force  the  understanding  directly  to 
perceive  what  is  suggested,  just  as  if  it  were  actually 
given. 

I  may  be  allowed,  in  passing,  to  insert  here  a  com- 
parison that  is  very  pertinent  to  the  arts  we  are  discuss- 
ing. It  is  this :  as  the  beautiful  bodily  form  is  seen  to 
the  greatest  advantage  when  clothed  in  the  lightest  way, 
or  indeed  without  any  clothing  at  all,  and  therefore  a 
very  handsome  man,  if  he  had  also  taste  and  the  courage 
to  follow  it,  would  go  about  almost  naked,  clothed  only 
after  the  manner  of  the  ancients ;  so  every  one  who  pos- 
sesses a  beautiful  and  rich  mind  will  always  express 
himself  in  the  most  natural,  direct,  and  simple  way,  con- 
cerned, if  it  be  possible,  to  communicate  his  thoughts  to 
others,  and  thus  relieve  the  loneliness  that  he  must  feel 
in  such  a  world  as  this.  And  conversely,  poverty  of 
mind,  confusion,  and  perversity  of  thought,  will  clothe 
itself  in  the  most  far-fetched  expressions  and  the 
obscurest  forms  of  speech,  in  order  to  wrap  up  in  difficult 
and  pompous  phraseology  small,  trifling,  insipid,  or 
commonplace  thoughts;  like  a  man  who  has  lost  the 
majesty  of  beauty,  and  trying  to  make  up  for  the 
deficiency  by  means  of  clothing,  seeks  to  hide  the 
insignificance  or  ugliness  of  his  person  under  barbaric 
finery,  tinsel,  feathers,  ruffles,  cuffs,  and  mantles.  Many 
an  author,  if  compelled  to  translate  his  pompous  and 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA  :  THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.    297 

obscure  book  into  its  little  clear  content,  would  be  as 
utterly  spoilt  as  this  man  if  he  had  to  go  naked. 

§  48.  Historical  painting  has  for  its  principal  object, 
besides  beauty  and  grace,  character.  By  character  we 
mean  generally,  the  representation  of  will  at  the  highest 
grade  of  its  objectification,  when  the  individual,  as  giving 
prominence  to  a  particular  side  of  the  Idea  of  humanity, 
has  special  significance,  and  shows  this  not  merely  by  his 
form,  but  makes  it  visible  in  his  bearing  and  occupation, 
by  action  of  every  kind,  and  the  modifications  of  knowing 
and  willing  that  occasion  and  accompany  it.  The  Idea 
of  man  must  be  exhibited  in  these  circumstances,  and 
therefore  the  unfolding  of  its  many-sidedness  must  be 
brought  before  our  eyes  by  means  of  representative 
individuals,  and  these  individuals  can  only  be  made 
visible  in  their  significance  through  various  scenes,  events, 
and  actions.  This  is  the  endless  problem  of  the  histori- 
cal painter,  and  he  solves  it  by  placing  before  us  scenes 
of  life  of  every  kind,  of  greater  or  less  significance.  No 
individual  and  no  action  can  be  without  significance ;  in 
all  and  through  all  the  Idea  of  man  unfolds  itself  more 
and  more.  Therefore  no  event  of  human  life  is  excluded 
from  the  sphere  of  painting.  It  is  thus  a  great  injustice 
to  the  excellent  painters  of  the  Dutch  school,  to  prize 
merely  their  technical  skill,  and  to  look  down  upon  them 
in  other  respects,  because,  for  the  most  part,  they  repre- 
sent objects  of  common  life,  whereas  it  is  assumed  that 
only  the  events  of  the  history  of  the  world,  or  the  inci- 
dents of  biblical  story,  have  significance.  We  ought  first 
to  bethink  ourselves  that  the  inward  significance  of  an 
action  is  quite  different  from  its  outward  significance,  and 
that  these  are  often  separated  from  each  other.  The 
outward  significance  is  the  importance  of  an  action  in 
relation  to  its  result  for  and  in  the  actual  world ;  thus 
according  to  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason.  The 
inward  significance  is  the  depth  of  the  insight  into 
the    Idea    of   man  which  it  reveals,  in  that  it   brings 


298  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  bk.  ill. 

to  light  sides  of  that  Idea  which  rarely  appear,  by 
making  individuals  who  assert  themselves  distinctly 
and  decidedly,  disclose  their  peculiar  characteristics  by 
means  of  appropriately  arranged  circumstances.  Only 
the  inward  significance  concerns  art;  the  outward  be- 
longs to  history.  They  are  both  completely  independent 
of  each  other ;  they  may  appear  together,  but  may  each 
appear  alone.  An  action  which  is  of  the  highest  signi- 
ficance for  history  may  in  inward  significance  be  a  very 
ordinary  and  common  one ;  and  conversely,  a  scene  of 
ordinary  daily  life  may  be  of  great  inward  significance,  if 
human  individuals,  and  the  inmost  recesses  of  human 
action  and  will,  appear  in  it  in  a  clear  and  distinct  light. 
Further,  the  outward  and  the  inward  significance  of  a 
scene  may  be  equal  and  yet  very  different.  Thus,  for 
example,  it  is  all  the  same,  as  far  as  inward  significance 
is  concerned,  whether  ministers  discuss  the  fate  of  coun- 
tries and  nations  over  a  map,  or  boors  wrangle  in  a  beer- 
house over  cards  and  dice,  just  as  it  is  all  the  same 
whether  we  play  chess  with  golden  or  wooden  pieces. 
But  apart  from  this,  the  scenes  and  events  that  make  up 
the  life  of  so  many  millions  of  men,  their  actions,  their 
sorrows,  their  joys,  are  on  that  account  important  enough 
to  be  the  object  of  art,  and  by  their  rich  variety  they 
must  afford  material  enough  for  unfolding  the  many-sided 
Idea  of  man.  Indeed  the  very  transitoriness  of  the  moment 
which  art  has  fixed  in  such  a  picture  (now  called  genre- 
painting)  excites  a  slight  and  peculiar  sensation;  for 
to  fix  the  fleeting,  ever-changing  world  in  the  enduring 
picture  of  a  single  event,  which  yet  represents  the  whole, 
is  an  achievement  of  the  art  of  painting  by  which  it 
seems  to  bring  time  itself  to  a  standstill,  for  it  raises  the 
individual  to  the  Idea  of  its  species.  Finally,  the  histo- 
rical and  outwardly  significant  subjects  of  painting  have 
often  the  disadvantage  that  just  what  is  significant  in 
them  cannot  be  presented  to  perception,  but  must  be 
arrived   at   by  thought.      In   this   respect   the   nominal 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA  :   THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.    299 

significance  of  the  picture  must  be  distinguished  from  its 
real  significance.  The  former  is  the  outward  significance, 
which,  however,  can  only  be  reached  as  a  conception ;  the 
latter  is  that  side  of  the  Idea  of  man  which  is  made 
visible  to  the  onlooker  in  the  picture.  For  example, 
Moses  found  by  the  Egyptian  princess  is  the  nominal 
significance  of  a  painting ;  it  represents  a  moment  of  the 
greatest  importance  in  history ;  the  real  significance,  on 
the  other  hand,  that  which  is  really  given  to  the  onlooker, 
is  a  foundling  child  rescued  from  its  floating  cradle  by  a 
great  lady,  an  incident  which  may  have  happened  more 
than  once.  The  costume  alone  can  here  indicate  the 
particular  historical  case  to  the  learned ;  but  the  costume 
is  only  of  importance  to  the  nominal  signifiance,  and  is  a 
matter  of  indifference  to  the  real  significance ;  for  the 
latter  knows  only  the  human  being  as  such,  not  the 
arbitrary  forms.  Subjects  taken  from  history  have  no 
advantage  over  those  which  are  taken  from  mere  pos- 
sibility, and  which  are  therefore  to  be  called,  not  indi- 
vidual, but  merely  general.  For  what  is  peculiarly 
significant  in  the  former  is  not  the  individual,  not  the 
particular  event  as  such,  but  the  universal  in  it,  the  side 
of  the  Idea  of  humanity  which  expresses  itself  through 
it.  But,  on  the  other  hand,  definite  historical  subjects 
are  not  on  this  account  to  be  rejected,  only  the  really 
artistic  view  of  such  subjects,  both  in  the  painter  and 
in  the  beholder,  is  never  directed  to  the  individual  par- 
ticulars in  them,  which  properly  constitute  the  historical, 
but  to  the  universal  which  expresses  itself  in  them,  to 
the  Idea.  And  only  those  historical  subjects  are  to  be 
chosen  the  chief  point  of  which  can  actually  be  repre- 
sented, and  not  merely  arrived  at  by  thou^iit,  otherwise 
the  nominal  significance  is  too  remote  from  the  real; 
what  is  merely  thought  in  connection  with  the  picture 
becomes  of  most  importance,  and  interferes  with  what  is 
perceived.  If  even  on  the  stage  it  is  not  right  that  the 
chief  incident  of  the  plot  should  take  place  behind  the 


3oo  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  bk.  hi. 

scenes  (as  in  French  tragedies),  it  is  clearly  a  far  greater 
fault  in  a  picture.  Historical  subjects  are  distinctly 
disadvantageous  only  when  they  confine  the  painter  to 
a  field  which  has  not  been  chosen  for  artistic  but  for 
other  reasons,  and  especially  when  this  field  is  poor  in 
picturesque  and  significant  objects — if,  for  example,  it  is 
the  history  of  a  small,  isolated,  capricious,  hierarchical 
(i.e.,  ruled  by  error),  obscure  people,  like  the  Jews,  despised 
by  the  great  contemporary  nations  of  the  East  and  the 
West  Since  the  wandering  of  the  tribes  lies  between  us 
and  all  ancient  nations,  as  the  change  of  the  bed  of  the 
ocean  lies  between  the  earth's  surface  as  it  is  to-day  and 
as  it  was  when  those  organisations  existed  which  we  only 
know  from  fossil  remains,  it  is  to  be  regarded  generally  as 
a  great  misfortune  that  the  people  whose  culture  was  to 
be  the  principal  basis  of  our  own  were  not  the  Indians  or 
the  Greeks,  or  even  the  Eomans,  but  these  very  Jews. 
But  it  was  especially  a  great  misfortune  for  the  Italian 
painters  of  genius  in  the  fifteenth  and  sixteenth  centuries 
that,  in  the  narrow  sphere  to  which  they  were  arbitrarily 
driven  for  the  choice  of  subjects,  they  were  obliged  to  have 
recourse  to  miserable  beings  of  every  kind.  For  the  New 
Testament,  as  regards  its  historical  part,  is  almost  more 
unsuitable  for  painting  than  the  Old,  and  the  subsequent 
history  of  martyrs  and  doctors  of  the  church  is  a  very 
unfortunate  subject.  Yet  of  the  pictures,  whose  subject 
is  the  history  or  mythology  of  Judaism  and  Christianity, 
we  must  carefully  distinguish  those  in  which  the  peculiar, 
i.e.,  the  ethical  spirit  of  Christianity  is  revealed  for  per- 
ception, by  the  representation  of  men  who  are  full  of 
this  spirit.  These  representations  are  in  fact  the  highest 
and  most  admirable  achievements  of  the  art  of  painting ; 
and  only  the  greatest  masters  of  this  art  succeeded  in 
this,  particularly  Raphael  and  Correggio,  and  especially 
in  their  earlier  pictures.  Pictures  of  this  kind  are  not 
properly  to  be  classed  as  historical :  for,  as  a  rule,  they 
represent  no  event,  no  action ;  but  are  merely  groups  of 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA  :   THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.     301 

saints,  with  the  Saviour  himself,  often  still  a  child,  with  His 
mother,  angels,  &c.  In  their  countenances,  and  especially 
in  the  eyes,  we  see  the  expression,  the  reflection,  of  the 
completest  knowledge,  that  which  is  not  directed  to  par- 
ticular things,  but  has  fully  grasped  the  Ideas,  and  thus 
the  whole  nature  of  the  world  and  life.  And  this  know- 
ledge in  them,  reacting  upon  the  will,  does  not,  like  other 
knowledge,  convey  motives  to  it,  but  on  the  contrary  has 
become  a  quieter  of  all  will,  from  which  proceeded  the 
complete  resignation,  which  is  the  innermost  spirit  of 
Christianity,  as  of  the  Indian  philosophy ;  the  surrender 
of  all  volition,  conversion,  the  suppression  of  will,  and 
with  it  of  the  whole  inner  being  of  this  world,  that  is  to 
say,  salvation.  Thus  these  masters  of  art,  worthy  of 
eternal  praise,  expressed  perceptibly  in  their  works  the 
highest  wisdom.  And  this  is  the  summit  of  all  art.  It 
has  followed  the  will  in  its  adequate  objectivity,  the 
Ideas,  through  all  its  grades,  in  which  it  is  affected  and 
its  nature  unfolded  in  so  many  ways,  first  by  causes, 
then  by  stimuli,  and  finally  by  motives.  And  now  art 
ends  with  the  representation  of  the  free  self-suppression 
of  will,  by  means  of  the  great  peace  which  it  gains  from 
the  perfect  knowledge  of  its  own  nature.1 

§  49.  The  truth  which  lies  at  the  foundation  of  all 
that  we  have  hitherto  said  about  art,  is  that  the  object  of 
art,  the  representation  of  which  is  the  aim  of  the  artist, 
and  the  knowledge  of  which  must  therefore  precede  his 
work  as  its  germ  and  source,  is  an  Idea  in  Plato's  sense, 
and  never  anything  else ;  not  the  particular  thing,  the 
object  of  common  apprehension,  and  not  the  concept,  the 
object  of  rational  thought  and  of  science.  Although  the 
Idea  and  the  concept  have  something  in  common,  because 
both  represent  as  unity  a  multiplicity  of  real  things ;  yet 
the  great  difference  between  them  has  no  doubt  been 
made  clear  and  evident  enough  by  what  we  have  said 

1  In  order  to  understand  this  passage  it  is  necessary  to  have  read  the 
whole  of  the  next  book. 


3<>2  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 


BK.  III. 


about  concepts  in  the  first  book,  and  about  Ideas  in  this 
book.    I  by  no  means  wish  to  assert,  however,  that  Plato 
really  distinctly  comprehended  this  difference;  indeed  many 
of  his  examples  of  Ideas,  and  his  discussions  of  them,  are 
applicable  only  to  concepts.     Meanwhile  we  leave  this 
question  alone  and  go  on  our  own  way,  glad  when  we 
come  upon  traces  of  any  great  and  noble  mind,  yet  not 
following  his  footsteps  but  our  own  aim.     The  concept  is 
abstract,  discursive,  undetermined  within  its  own  sphere, 
only  determined  by  its  limits,  attainable  and  comprehen-\/ 
sible   by  him  who   has   only   reason,  communicable  by 
words  without  any  other  assistance,  entirely  exhausted 
by  its  definition.     The  Idea  on  the  contrary,  although 
denned  as  the  adequate  representative  of  the  concept,  is 
always  object  of   perception,  and  although  representing 
an  infinite  number  of  particular  things,  is  yet  thoroughly 
determined.     It  is   never  known  by  the  individual  as 
such,  but  only  by  him  who  has  raised  himself  above  all 
willing  and  all  individuality  to  the  pure  subject  of  know- 
ing.    Thus  it  is  only  attainable  by  the  man  of  genius, 
and  by  him  who,  for  the  most  part  through  the  assistance 
of  the  works  of  genius,  has  reached  an  exalted  frame  of 
mind,  by  increasing  his  power  of  pure  knowing.     It  is 
therefore  not  absolutely  but  only  conditionally  communi- 
cable, because  the  Idea,  comprehended  and  repeated  in 
the  work  of  art,  appeals  to  every  one  only  according  to 
the  measure  of  his  own  intellectual  worth.      So  that  just 
the  most  excellent  works  of  every  art,  the  noblest  pro- 
ductions of  genius,  must  always  remain  sealed  books  to 
the  dull  majority  of  men,  inaccessible  to  them,  separated 
from  them  by  a  wide  gulf,  just  as  the  society  of  princes 
is  inaccessible  to  the  common  people.     It  is  true  that 
even  the  dullest  of  them  accept  on  authority  recognisedly 
great    works,   lest    otherwise    they    should    argue    their 
own   incompetence;    but   they   wait   in   silence,   always 
ready  to  express  their  condemnation,  as  soon  as  they  are 
allowed  to  hope  that  they  may  do  so  without  being  left 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA:   THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.     303 

to  stand  alone;  and  then  their  long-restrained  hatred 
against  all  that  is  great  and  beautiful,  and  against  the 
authors  of  it,  gladly  relieves  itself;  for  such  things  never 
appealed  to  them,  and  for  that  very  reason  were  humili- 
ating to  them.  For  as  a  rule  a  man  must  have  worth  in 
himself  in  order  to  recognise  it  and  believe  in  it  willingly 
and  freely  in  others.  On  this  rests  the  necessity  of 
modesty  in  all  merit,  and  the  disproportionately  loud 
praise  of  this  virtue,  which  alone  of  all  its  sisters  is 
always  included  in  the  eulogy  of  every  one  who  ventures 
to  praise  any  distinguished  man,  in  order  to  appease  and 
quiet  the  wrath  of  the  unworthy.  What  then  is  modesty 
but  hypocritical  humility,  by  means  of  which,  in  a  world 
swelling  with  base  envy,  a  man  seeks  to  obtain  pardon 
for  excellences  and  merits  from  those  who  have  none  ? 
For  whoever  attributes  to  himself  no  merits,  because  he 
actually  has  none,  is  not  modest  but  merely  honest. 

The  Idea  is  the  unity  that  falls  into  multiplicity  on 
account  of  the  temporal  and  spatial  form  of  our  intuitive 
apprehension ;  the  concept,  on  the  contrary,  is  the  unity 
reconstructed  out  of  multiplicity  by  the  abstraction  of 
our  reason ;  the  latter  may  be  defined  as  unitas  post  rem, 
the  former  as  unitas  ante  rem.  Finally,  we  may  express 
the  distinction  between  the  Idea  and  the  concept,  by  a 
comparison,  thus :  the  concept  is  like  a  dead  receptacle, 
in  which,  whatever  has  been  put,  actually  lies  side  by 
side,  but  out  of  which  no  more  can  be  taken  (by  analyti- 
cal judgment)  than  was  put  in  (by  synthetical  reflec- 
tion) ;  the  (Platonic)  Idea,  on  the  other  hand,  develops, 
in  him  who  has  comprehended  it,  ideas  which  are  new  as 
regards  the  concept  of  the  same  name;  it  resembles  a 
living  organism,  developing  itself  and  possessed  of  the 
power  of  reproduction,  which  brings  forth  what  was  not 
put  into  it. 

It  follows  from  all  that  has  been  said,  that  the 
concept,  useful  as  it  is  in  life,  and  serviceable,  necessary 
and  productive  as  it  is  in  science,  is  yet  always  barren 


3©4  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  BK.  hi. 

and  unfruitful  in  art.     The  comprehended  Idea,  on  the 
contrary,  is  the  true  and  only  source  of  every  work  of 
art     In  its  powerful  originality  it  is  only  derived  from 
life  itself,  from  nature,  from  the  world,  and  that  only 
by  the  true  genius,  or  by  him  whose  momentary  inspira- 
tion reaches  the  point  of  genius.     Genuine  and  immortal 
works  of  art  spring  only  from  such  direct  apprehension. 
Just  because  the  Idea  is  and  remains  object  of  percep- 
tion, the  artist  is  not  conscious  in  the  abstract  of  the 
intention  and  aim  of  liis  work ;  not  a  concept,  but  an 
Idea  floats  before  his  mind ;  therefore  he  can  give  no 
justification  of  what  he  does.     He  works,  as  people  say, 
from  pure  feeling,  and  unconsciously,  indeed  instinctively. 
On  the  contrary,  imitators,  mannerists,  imitatores,  sei-vum 
pecus,  start,  in  art,  from  the  concept;  they  observe  what 
pleases  and  affects  us  in  true  works  of  art ;  understand 
it  clearly,  fix  it  in  a  concept,  and  thus  abstractly,  and 
then  imitate  it,    openly    or   disguisedly,  with   dexterity 
and  intentionally.     They  suck   their  nourishment,  like 
parasite  plants,  from  the  works  of  others,  and  like  polypi, 
they  become  the  colour  of  their  food.     We  might  carry 
comparison  further,  and  say  that  they  are  like  machines 
which  mince  fine  and  mingle  together  whatever  is  put 
into  them,  but  can  never  digest  it,  so  that  the  different 
constituent  parts  may  always  be  found  again  if  they  are 
sought  out  and  separated  from  the  mixture ;  the  man  of 
genius  alone  resembles  the  organised,  assimilating,  trans- 
forming and  reproducing  body.     For  he  is  indeed  edu- 
cated and  cultured  by  his  predecessors  and  their  works ; 
but  he  is  really  fructified   only  by  life  and  the  world 
directly,  through  the  impression  of  what  he  perceives; 
therefore  the  highest  culture  never   interferes  with  his 
originality.     All  imitators,  all  mannerists,  apprehend  iu 
concepts  the  nature  of  representative  works  of  art ;  but 
concepts  can  never  impart  inner  life  to  a   work.     The 
age,  i.e.,  the  dull  multitude   of  every  time,  knows  only 
concepts,   and    sticks    to   them,   and    therefore    receives 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA  ;  THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.     305 

mannered  works  of  art  with  ready  and  loud  applause: 
but  after  a  few  years  these  works  become  insipid,  because 
the  spirit  of  the  age,  i.e,  the  prevailing  concepts,  in  which 
alone  they  could  take  root,  have  changed.  Only  true 
works  of  art,  which  are  drawn  directly  from  nature  and 
life,  have  eternal  youth  and  enduring  power,  like  nature 
and  life  themselves.  For  they  belong  to  no  age,  but  to 
humanity,  and  as  on  that  account  they  are  coldly  received 
by  their  own  age,  to  which  they  disdain  to  link  them- 
selves closely,  and  because  indirectly  and  negatively  they 
expose  the  existing  errors,  they  are  slowly  and  unwillingly 
recognised ;  on  the  other  hand,  they  cannot  grow  old,  but 
appear  to  us  ever  fresh  and  new  down  to  the  latest  ages. 
Then  they  are  no  longer  exposed  to  neglect  and  ignorance, 
for  they  are  crowned  and  sanctioned  by  the  praise  of  the 
few  men  capable  of  judging,  who  appear  singly  and  rarely 
in  the  course  of  ages,1  and  give  in  their  votes,  whose 
slowly  growing  number  constitutes  the  authority,  which 
alone  is  the  judgment-seat  we  mean  when  we  appeal  to 
posterity.  It  is  these  successively  appearing  individuals, 
for  the  mass  of  posterity  will  always  be  and  remain  just 
as  perverse  and  dull  as  the  mass  o£  contemporaries  always 
was  and  always  is.  We  read  the  complaints  of  great  men 
in  every  century  about  the  customs  of  their  age.  They 
always  sound  as  if  they  referred  to  our  own  age,  for  the 
race  is  always  the  same.  At  every  time  and  in  every 
art,  mannerisms  have  taken  the  place  of  the  spirit,  which 
was  always  the  possession  of  a  few  individuals,  but 
mannerisms  are  just  the  old  cast-off  garments  of  the  last 
manifestation  of  the  spirit  that  existed  and  was  recognised. 
From  all  this  it  appears  that,  as  a  rule,  the  praise  of 
posterity  can  only  be  gained  at  the  cost  of  the  praise  of 
one's  contemporaries,  and  vice  versa.2 

§  50.  If  the  aim  of  all  art  is  the  communication  of  the 
comprehended  Idea,  which  through  the  mind  of  the  artist 

1  Apparent  rari,  nantes  in  gurgite  vasto 

2  Cf.  Ch.  xxxiv.  of  Supplement. 

VOL.   I.  TT 


3o6  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  RK.  lit 

appears  in  such  a  form  that  it  is  purged  and  isolated  from 
all  that  is  foreign  to  it,  and  may  now  be  grasped  by  the 
man  of  weaker  comprehension  and  no  productive  faculty ; 
if  further,  it  is  forbidden  in  art  to  start  from  the  concept, 
we  shall  not  be  able  to  consent  to  the  intentional  and 
avowed  employment  of  a  work  of  art  for  the  expression 
of  a  concept ;  this  is  the  case  in  the  Allegory.  An  alle- 
gory is  a  work  of  art  which  means  something  different 
from  what  it  represents.  But  the  object  of  perception, 
and  consequently  also  the  Idea,  expresses  itself  directly 
and  completely,  and  does  not  require  the  medium  of 
something  else  which  implies  or  indicates  it.  Thus, 
that  which  in  this  way  is  indicated  and  represented  by 
something  entirely  different,  because  it  cannot  itself  be 

*  made  object  of  perception,  is  always  a  concept  There- 
fore through  the  allegory  a  conception  has  always  to  be 
signified,  and  consequently  the  mind  of  the  beholder  has 
to  be  drawn  away  from  the  expressed  perceptible  idea  to 
one  which  is  entirely  different,  abstract  and  not  per- 
ceptible, and  which  lies  quite  outside  the  work  of  art 
The  picture  or  statue  is  intended  to  accomplish  here 
what  is  accomplished  far  more  fully  by  a  book.  Now, 
what  we  hold  is  the  end  of  art,  representation  of  a 
perceivable,  comprehensible  Idea,  is  not  here  the  end. 
No  gTeat  completeness  in  the  work  of  art  is  demanded 
for  what  is  aimed  at  here.  It  is  only  necessary  that  we 
should  see  what  the  thing  is  meant  to  be,  for,  as  soon  as 
this  has  been  discovered,  the  end  is  reached,  and  the  mind 
is  now  led  away  to  quite  a  different  kind  of  idea  to 
an  abstract  conception,  which  is  the  end  that  was  in 
view.     Allegories  in  plastic  and  pictorial  art  are,  therefore, 

y/  nothing  but  hieroglyphics  ;  the  artistic  value  which  they 
may  have  as  perceptible  representations,  belongs  to  them 
not  as  allegories,  but  otherwise.     That  the  "  Night "  oiA 
CorregL-io,  the  "Genius  of  Fame"  of  Hannibal  Carracci, 
and  the  "  Hours  "  of  Poussin,  are  very  beautiful  pictures! 
is  to  be  separated  altogether  from  thi-  fact  that  they  are; 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA  :   THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.     307 

I  allegories.     As  allegories  they  do  not  accomplish  more 
j  than  a  legend,  indeed  rather  less.     We  are  here  again 
reminded  of  the  distinction  drawn  above    between   the 
real   and   the   nominal   significance   of  a  picture.     The 
nominal  is  here  the  allegorical  as  such,  for  example,  the 
"  Genius  of  Fame."     The  real  is  what  is  actually  repre- 
sented, in  this  case  a  beautiful  winged  youth,  surrounded 
by  beautiful  boys ;  this  expresses  an  Idea.     But  this  real 
significance  affects  us  only  so  long  as  we  forget  the  nomi- 
nal, allegorical  significance ;  if  we  think  of  the  latter,  we 
forsake  the  perception,  and  the  mind  is  occupied  with  nn 
abstract  conception ;  but  the  transition  from  the  Idea  to 
the  conception  is  always  a  fall.     Indeed,  that  nominal 
significance,  that  allegorical  intention,  often  injures  the 
real   significance,  the   perceptible   truth.     For   example, 
the  unnatural  light  in  the  «  Night "  of  Correggio,  which, 
though  beautifully  executed,  has  yet  a  merely  allegorical 
motive,  and  is  really  impossible.     If  then  an  allegorical 
picture  has  artistic  value,  it  is  quite  separate  from  and 
independent  of  what  it  accomplishes  as  allegory.     Such 
a  work  of  art  serves  two  ends  at  once,  the  expression  of 
a  conception  and  the  expression  of  an  Idea.     Only  the 
latter  can  be  an  end  of  art ;  the  other  is  a  foreign  end, 
the   trilling  amusement   of   making   a    picture    also   do 
service  as  a  legend,  as  a  hieroglyphic,  invented  for  the 
pleasure  of  those  to  whom  the  true  nature  of  art  can 
never  appeal.     It  is  the  same  thing  as  when  a  work  of 
art  is   also  a  useful  implement  of  some  kind,  in  which 
case  it  also  serves  two  ends ;  for  example,  a  statue  which 
is  at  the  same  time  a  candelabrum  or  a  caryatide ;  or  a 
bas-relief,  which  is   also   the   shield   of  Achilles.     True 
lovers   of  art  will  allow  neither  the  one  nor  the  other. 
It  is  true  that  an  allegorical  picture  may,  because  of  this 
quality,  produce  a  vivid  impression  upon  the   feelings ; 
but   when   this  is  the   case,  a  legend  would  under  the 
same  circumstances  produce  the   same  effect.      For  ex- 
ample, if  the  desire  of  fame  were  tirmly  and  lastingly 


3o8  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  bk.  hi. 

rooted  in  the  heart  of  a  man,  because  he  regarded  it  as 
his  rightful  possession,  which  is  only  withheld  from 
him  so  long  as  he  has  not  produced  the  charter  of  his 
ownership ;  and  if  the  Genius  of  Fame,  with  his  laurel 
crown,  were  to  appear  to  such  a  man,  his  whole  mind 
would  be  excited,  and  his  powers  called  into  activity ; 
but  the  same  effect  would  be  produced  if  he  were  sud- 
denly to  see  the  word  "  fame,"  in  large  distinct  letters  on 
the  wall.  Or  if  a  man  has  made  known  a  truth,  which 
is  of  importance  either  as  a  maxim  for  practical  life,  or 
as  insight  for  science,  but  it  has  not  been  believed ;  an 
allegorical  picture  representing  time  as  it  lifts  the  veil, 
and  discloses  the  naked  figure  of  Truth,  will  affect  him 
powerfully ;  but  the  same  effect  would  be  produced  by 
the   legend:   " Le  temps  ddcouvre  la  veritt."     For  what 

really  pr°duces  the  effect  here  "  the  abstract  tnouSnt» 
not  the  object  of  perception. 

If  then,  in  accordance  with  what  has  been  said,  allegory 
in  plastic  and  pictorial  art  is  a  mistaken  effort,  serving 
an  end  which  is  entirely  foreign  to  art,  it  becomes  quite 
unbearable  when  it  leads  so  far  astray  that  the  repre- 
sentation  of  forced   and  violently   introduced  subtilties 
degenerates    into    absurdity.     Such,  for    example,    is    a 
tortoise,  to  represent  feminine  seclusion ;  the  downward 
glance  of  Nemesis  into  the  drapery  of  her  bosom,  signify- 
ing that  she  can  see  into  what  is  hidden ;  the  explana- 
tion of  Bellori  that  Hannibal  Caracci  represents  voluptu- 
ousness clothed   in  a    yellow  robe,  because  he   wishes 
to  indicate  that  her  lovers  soon  fade  and  become  yellow 
as  straw.     If  there  is  absolutely  no  connection  between 
y4e   representation   and   the  conception   signified   by  it, 
founded  on  subsumption  under  the  concept,  or  associa- 
tion of  Ideas ;  but  the  signs  and  the  things  signified  are 
combined  in  a  purely  conventional  manner,  by  positive, 
accidentally  introduced  laws ;  then  I  call  this  degenerate 
I  kind  of  allegory  Symbolism.    Thus  the  rose  is  the  symbol v 
of  secrecy,  the  laurel  is  the  symbol  of  fame,  the  palm  ia 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA  :  THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.    309 

the  symbol  of  peace,  the  scallop-shell  is  the  symbol 
of  pilgrimage,  the  cross  is  the  symbol  of  the  Christian 
religion.  To  this  class  also  belongs  all  significance  of 
mere  colour,  as  yellow  is  the  colour  of  falseness,  and  blue 
"is  the  colour  of  fidelity.  Such  symbols  may  often  be  of 
use  in  life,  but  their  value  is  foreign  to  art.  They  are 
simply  to  be  regarded  as  hieroglyphics,  or  like  Chinese 
word-writing,  and  really  belong  to  the  same  class  as 
armorial  bearings,  the  bush  that  indicates  a  public-house, 
the  key  of  the  chamberlain,  or  the  leather  of  the  moun- 
taineer. If,  finally,  certain  historical  or  mythical  persons, 
or  personified  conceptions,  are  represented  by  certain 
fixed  symbols,  these  are  properly  called  emblems.  Such 
are  the  beasts  of  the  Evangelist,  the  owl  of  Minerva,  the 
apple  of  Paris,  the  Anchor  of  Hope,  &c.  For  the  most 
part,  however,  we  understand  by  emblems  those  simple 
allegorical  representations  explained  by  a  motto,  which 
are  meant  to  express  a  moral  truth,  and  of  which  large 
collections  have  been  made  by  J.  Camerarius,  Alciatus, 
and  others.  They  form  the  transition  to  poetical  allegory, 
of  which  we  shall  have  more  to  say  later.  Greek 
sculpture  devotes  itself  to  the  perception,  and  therefore 
it  is  cesthetical ;  Indian  sculpture  devotes  itself  to  the 
conception,  and  therefore  it  is  merely  symbolical. 

This  conclusion  in  regard  to  allegory,  which  is  founded 
on  our  consideration  of  the  nature  of  art  and  quite  con- 
sistent with  it,  is  directly  opposed  to  the  opinion  of 
Wincklemann,  who,  far  from  explaining  allegory,  as  we 
do,  as  something  quite  foreign  to  the  end  of  art,  and 
often  interfering  with  it,  always  speaks  in  favour  of  it, 
and  indeed  (Works,  vol  i  p.  55)  places  the  highest  aim 
of  art  in  the  u  representation  of  universal  conceptions, 
and  non-sensuous  things."  We  leave  it  to  every  one  to 
adhere  to  whichever  view  he  pleases.  Only  the  truth 
became  very  clear  to  me  from  these  and  similar  views 
of  Wincklemann  connected  with  his  peculiar  metaphysic 
of  the  beautiful,  that  one  may  have  the  greatest  suscepti- 


3io  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  bk.  iil 

bility  for  artistic  beauty,  and  the  soundest  judgment  in 
regard  to  it,  without  being  able  to  give  an  abstract  and 
strictly  philosophical  justification  of  the  nature  of  the 
beautiful ;  just  as  one  may  be  very  noble  and  virtuous, 
and  may  have  a  tender  conscience,  which  decides  with 
perfect  accuracy  in  particular  cases,  without  on  that 
account  being  in  a  position  to  investigate  and  explain  in 
the  abstract  the  ethical  significance  of  action. 

Allegory  has  an  entirely  different  relation  to  poetry 

^from  that  which  it  has  to  plastic  and  pictorial  art,  and 
although  it  is  to  be  rejected  in  the  latter,  it  is  not  only 
permissible,  but  very  serviceable  to  the  former.  For  in 
plastic  and  pictorial  art  it  leads  away  from  what  is  per- 
ceptibly given,  the  proper  object  of  all  art,  to  abstract 
thoughts ;  but  in  poetry  the  relation  is  reversed  ;  for  here 
what  is  directly  given  in  words  is  the  concept,  and  the 
first  aim  is  to  lead  from  this  to  the  object  of  perception, 
the  representation  of  which  must  be  undertaken  by  the 
imagination  of  the  hearer.  If  in  plastic  and  pictorial  art 
we  are  led  from  what  is  immediately  given  to  something 
else,  this  must  always  be  a  conception,  because  here  only 
the  abstract  cannot  be  given  directly  ;  but  a  conception 
must  never  be  the  source,  and  its  communication  must 
never  be  the  end  of  a  work  of  art.  In  poetry,  on  the 
contrary,  the  conception  is  the  material,  the  immediately 
given,  and  therefore  we  may  very  well  leave  it,  in  order 
to  call  up  perceptions  which  are  quite  different,  and  iu 
which  the  end  is  reached.  Many  a  conception  or  abstract 
thought  may  be  quite  indispensable  to  the  connection  of 

L^a  poem,  which  is  yet,  in  itself  and  directly,  quite  incapable 
of  being  perceived ;  and  then  it  is  often  made  perceptible 
by  means  of  some  example  which  is  subsumed  under  it 
This  takes  place  in  every  trope,  every  metaphor,  simile, 
parable,  and  allegory,  all  of  which  differ  only  in  the  length 
and  completeness  of  their  expression.  Therefore,  in  the 
arts  which  employ  language  as  their  medium,  similes  and 
allegories  are  of  striking  effect.     How  beautifully  Cer- 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA:   THE  OBJECT  OF  ART     311 

vantes  says  of  sleep  in  order  to  express  the  fact  that  it 
frees  us  from  all  spiritual  and  bodily  suffering,  "  It  is  a 
mantle   that    covers   all    mankind."      How    beautifully 
Kleist  expresses  allegorically  the  thought  that  philoso- 
phers and  men  of  science  enlighten  maukind,  in  the  line, 
"  Those  whose  midnight  lamp  lights  the  world."     How 
strongly  and  sensuously    Homer  describes  the    harmful 
Ate  when  he  says :  "  She  has  tender  feet,  for  she  walks 
not  on  the  hard  earth,  but  treads  on  the  heads  of  men  " 
(II.  xix.  91.)     How  forcibly  we  are  struck  by  Menenius 
Agrippa's  fable  of  the  belly  and  the  limbs,  addressed  to 
the  people  of  Eome  when  they  seceded.     How  beautifully 
Plato's  figure  of  the  Cave,  at  the  beginning  of  the  seventh 
book  of  the  "ftepublic"  to  which  we  have  already  referred, 
expresses  a  very  abstract  philosophical  dogma.     The  fable 
of  Persephone  is  also  to  be  regarded  as  a  deeply  signifi- 
cant allegory  of  philosophical  tendency,  for  she  became 
subject  to  the  nether  world  by  tasting  a  pomegranate. 
This  becomes  peculiarly  enlightening  from  Goethe's  treat- 
ment of   the  fable,  as  an  episode  in  the  Triumph  der 
Empfindsamkeit,  which  is  beyond  all  praise.     Three  de- 
tailed allegorical  works  are  known  to  me,  one,  open  and 
avowed,  is    the    incomparable  "  Criticon "  of    Balthasai 
Gracian.     It  consists  of  a  great  rich  web  of  connected 
and  highly  ingenious  allegories,  that  serve  here  as  the  fair 
clothing  of  moral  truths,  to  which  he  thus  imparts  the 
most  perceptible  form,  and  astonishes  us  by  the  richness 
of  his  invention.     The  two  others  are  concealed  allegories, 
"  Don  Quixote"  and  "  Gulliver's  Travels."    The  first  is  an 
allegory  of  the  life  of  every  man,  who  will  not,  like  others, 
be  careful,  merely  for  his  own  welfare,  but  follows  some 
objective,  ideal  end,  which  has  taken  possession  of  his 
thoughts  and  will ;   and  certainly,  in  this  world,  he  has 
then  a  strange  appearance.     In  the  case  of  Gulliver  we 
have  only   to    take  everything   physical   as  spiritual  or 
intellectual,  in  order  to  see  what  the  "  satirical  rogue,"  as 
Hamlet  would  call  him,  meant  by  it.     Such,  then,  in  the 


312  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  BK.  ill, 

poetical  allegory,  the  conception  is  always  the  given, 
which  it  tries  to  make  perceptible  by  means  of  a  picture ; 
it  may  sometimes  be  expressed  or  assisted  by  a  painted 
picture.  Such  a  picture  will  not  be  regarded  as  a  work 
of  art,  but  only  as  a  significant  symbol,  and  it  makes  no 
claim  to  pictorial,  but  only  to  poetical  worth.  Such  is 
that  beautiful  allegorical  vignette  of  Lavater's,  which  must 
be  so  heartening  to  every  defender  of  truth  :  a  hand 
holding  a  light  is  stung  by  a  wasp,  while  gnats  are  burn- 
ing themselves  in  the  flame  above ;  underneath  is  the 
motto: 

"  And  although  it  singes  the  wings  of  the  gnats, 
Destroys  their  heads  and  all  their  little  brains, 

Light  is  still  light ; 
And  although  I  am  stung  by  the  angriest  wasp, 
I  will  not  let  it  go." 

To  this  class  also  belongs  the  gravestone  with  the  burnt- 
out,  smoking  candle,  and  the  inscription — 

"  When  it  is  out,  it  becomes  clear 
Whether  the  candle  was  tallow  or  wax." 

Finally,  of  this  kind  is  an  old  German  genealogical  tree, 
in  which  the  last  representative  of  a  very  ancient  family 
thus  expresses  his  determination  to  live  his  life  to  the 
end  in  abstinence  and  perfect  chastity,  and  therefore  to 
let  his  race  die  out ;  he  represents  himself  at  the  root 
of  the  high-branching  tree  cutting  it  over  himself  with 
shears.  In  general  all  those  symbols  referred  to  above, 
commonly  called  emblems,  which  might  also  be  defined 
as  short  painted  fables  with  obvious  morals,  belong  to 
this  class.  Allegories  of  this  kind  are  always  to  be  re- 
garded as  belonging  to  poetry,  not  to  painting,  and  as 
justified  thereby  ;  moreover,  the  pictorial  execution  is  here 
always  a  matter  of  secondary  importance,  and  no  more  is 
demanded  of  it  than  that  it  shall  represent  the  thing  so 
that  we  can  recognise  it  But  in  poetry,  as  in  plastic 
art,  the  allegory  passes  into  the  symbol  if  there  is  merely 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA  :  THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.    313 

an  arbitrary  connection  between  what  it  presented  to 
perception  and  the  abstract  significance  of  it.  For  as  all 
symbolism  rests,  at  bottom,  on  an  agreement,  the  symbol 
has  this  among  other  disadvantages,  that  in  time  its 
meaning  is  forgotten,  and  then  it  is  dumb.  Who  would 
guess  why  the  fish  is  a  symbol  of  Christianity  if  he  did 
not  know  ?  Only  a  Champollion  ;  for  it  is  entirely  a 
phonetic  hieroglyphic.  Therefore,  as  a  poetical  allegory, 
the  Eevelation  of  John  stands  much  in  the  same  position 
as  the  reliefs  with  Magnus  Beus  sol  Mithra,  which  are 
still  constantly  being  explained. 

§51.  If  now,  with  the  exposition  which  has  been 
given  of  art  in  general,  we  turn  from  plastic  and  pictorial 
art  to  poetry,  we  shall  have  no  doubt  that  its  aim  also 
is  the  revelation  of  the  Ideas,  the  grades  of  the  objec- 
tification  of  will,  and  the  communication  of  them  to  the 
hearer  with  the  distinctness  and  vividness  with  which  the 
poetical  sense  comprehends  them.  Ideas  are  essentially 
perceptible ;  if,  therefore,  in  poetry  only  abstract  con- 
ceptions are  directly  communicated  through  words,  it  is 
yet  clearly  the  intention  to  make  the  hearer  perceive  the 
Ideas  of  life  in  the  representatives  of  these  conceptions, 
and  this  can  only  take  place  through  the  assistance  of 
his  own  imagination.  But  in  order  to  set  the  imagination 
to  work  for  the  accomplishment  of  this  end,  the  abstract 
conceptions,  which  are  the  immediate  material  of  poetry 
as  of  dry  prose,  must  be  so  arranged  that  their  spheres 
intersect  each  other  in  such  a  way  that  none  of  them  can 
remain  in  its  abstract  universality  ;  but,  instead  of  it,  a 
perceptible  representative  appears  to  the  imagination ; 
and  this  is  always  further  modified  by  the  words  of  the 
poet  according  to  what  his  intention  may  be.  As  the 
chemist  obtains  solid  precipitates  by  combining  perfectly 
clear  and  transparent  fluids ;  the  poet  understands  how 
to  precipitate,  as  it  were,  the  concrete,  the  individual,  the 
perceptible  idea,  out  of  the  abstract  and  transparent 
universality  of  the  concepts  by  the  manner  in  which  he 


3H  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  bk.hl 

combines  them.  For  the  Idea  can  only  be  known  by 
perception  ;  and  knowledge  of  the  Idea  is  the  end  oi"  art. 
The  skill  of  a  master,  in  poetry  as  in  chemistry,  enables 
us  always  to  obtain  the  precise  precipitate  we  intended. 
This  end  is  assisted  by  the  numerous  epithets  in  poetry, 
by  means  of  which  the  universality  of  every  concept  is 
narrowed  more  and  more  till  we  reach  the  perceptible. 
Homer  attaches  to  almost  every  substantive  an  adjec- 
tive, whose  concept  intersects  and  considerably  diminishes 
the  sphere  of  the  concept  of  the  substantive,  which  is 
thus  brought  so  much  the  nearer  to  perception :  for 
example — 

"  Ev  5'  area  Qxeavcp  Xaparpov  0ao$  ^eXioto, 
'EX/cov  vvkto.  fieXaiPav  en  faSwpov  apovpav." 

("  Occictit  vero  in  Oceanum  splendidum  lumeii  solis, 
Trahens  nocteni  uigram  super  almam  terram.") 

And— 

"  Where  gentle  winds  from  the  blue  heavens  sigh, 
There  stand  the  myrtles  still,  the  laurel  high,"— 

calls  up  before  the  imagination  by  means  of  a  few  con- 
cepts the  whole  delight  of  a  southern  clime. 

Ehythm  and  rhyme  are  quite  peculiar  aids  to  poetry. 
I  can  give  no  other  explanation  of  their  incredibly  power- 
ful effect  than  that  our  faculties  of  perception  have 
received  from  time,  to  which  they  are  essentially  bound, 
some  quality  on  account  of  which  we  inwardly  follow, 
and,  as  it  were,  consent  to  each  regularly  recurring 
sound.  In  this  way  rhythm  and  rhyme  are  partly  a 
means  of  holding  our  attention,  because  we  willingly 
follow  the  poem  read,  and  partly  they  produce  in  us  a 
blind  consent  to  what  is  read  prior  to  any  judgment,  and 
tins  gives  the  poem  a  certain  emphatic  power  of  convinc- 
ing independent  of  all  reasons. 

From  the  general  nature  of  the  material,  that  is,  the 
concepts,  which  poetiy  uses  to  communicate  the  Ideas, 
the  extent  of  its  province  is  very  great.     The  whole  of 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA  :   THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.     315 

nature,  the  Ideas  of  ali  grades,  can  be  represented  by 
means  of  it,  for  it  proceeds  according  to  the  Idea  it  has 
to  impart,  so  that  its  representations  are  sometimes  de- 
scriptive, sometimes  narrative,  and  sometimes  directly 
dramatic.  If,  in  the  representation  of  the  lower  grades 
of  the  objectivity  of  will,  plastic  and  pictorial  art  gene- 
rally surpass  it,  because  lifeless  nature,  and  even  brute 
nature,  reveals  almost  its  whole  being  in  a  single  well- 
chosen  moment ;  man,  on  the  contrary,  so  far  as  he  does 
not  express  himself  by  the  mere  form  and  expression  of 
his  person,  but  through  a  series  of  actions  and  the  accom- 
panying thoughts  and  emotions,  is  the  principal  object  of 
poetry,  in  which  no  other  art  can  compete  with  it,  for 
here  the  progress  or  movement  which  cannot  be  repre- 
sented in  plastic  or  pictorial  art  just  suits  its  purpose. 

The  revelation  of  the  Idea,  which  is  the  highest  grade 
of  the  objectivity  of  will,  the  representation  of  man  in 
the  connected  series  of  his  efforts  and  actions,  is  thus  the 
great  problem  of  poetry.  It  is  true  that  both  experience 
and  history  teach  us  to  know  man ;  yet  oftener  men  than 
man,  i.e.,  they  give  us  empirical  notes  of  the  behaviour 
of  men  to  each  other,  from  which  we  may  frame  rules 
for  our  own  conduct,  oftener  than  they  afford  us  deep 
glimpses  of  the  inner  nature  of  man.  The  latter  func- 
tion, however,  is  by  no  means  entirely  denied  them ;  but 
as  often  as  it  is  the  nature  of  mankind  itself  that  dis- 
closes itself  to  us  in  history  or  in  our  own  experience, 
we  have  comprehended  our  experience,  and  the  historian 
has  comprehended  history,  with  artistic  eyes,  poetically, 
i.e.,  according  to  the  Idea,  not  the  phenomenon,  in  its  inner 
nature,  not  in  its  relations.  Our  own  experience  is  the 
indispensable  condition  of  understanding  poetry  as  of 
understanding  history;  for  it  is,  so  to  speak,  the  dictionary 
of  the  language  that  both  speak.  But  history  is  related 
to  poetry  as  portrait -painting  is  related  to  historical 
painting ;  the  one  gives  us  the  true  in  the  individual, 
the  other  the  true  in  the  universal ;  the  one  has  the 


316  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  bk.  hi. 

truth  of  the  phenomenon,  and  can  therefore  verify  it 
from  the  phenomenal,  the  other  has  the  truth  of  the 
Idea,  which  can  be  found  in  no  particular  phenomenon,  but 
yet  speaks  to  us  from  them  all.  The  poet  from  deliberate 
choice  represents  significant  characters  in  significant  situa- 
tions; the  historian  takes  both  as  they  coma  Indeed, 
he  must  regard  and  select  the  circumstances  and  the 
persons,  not  with  reference  to  their  inward  and  true 
significance,  which  expresses  the  Idea,  but  according  to 
the  outward,  apparent,  and  relatively  important  signifi- 
cance with  regard  to  the  connection  and  the  consequences. 
He  must  consider  nothing  in  and  for  itself  in  its  essential 
character  and  expression,  but  must  look  at  everything  in 
its  relations,  in  its  connection,  in  its  influence  upon  what 
follows,  and  especially  upon  its  own  age.  Therefore  he 
will  not  overlook  an  action  of  a  king,  though  of  little 
significance,  and  in  itself  quite  common,  because  it  has 
results  and  influence.  And,  on  the  other  hand,  actions 
of  the  highest  significance  of  particular  and  very 
eminent  individuals  are  not  to  be  recorded  by  him  if 
they  have  no  consequences.  For  his  treatment  follows 
the  principle  of  sufficient  reason,  and  apprehends  the 
phenomenon,  of  which  this  principle  is  the  form.  But 
the  poet  comprehends  the  Idea,  the  inner  nature  of  man 
apart  from  all  relations,  outside  all  time,  the  adequate 
objectivity  of  the  thing-in-itself,  at  its  highest  grade. 
Even  in  that  method  of  treatment  which  is  necessary 
for  the  historian,  the  inner  nature  and  significance  of  the 
phenomena,  the  kernel  of  all  these  shells,  can  never  be 
entirely  lost  He  who  seeks  for  it,  at  any  rate,  may  find 
it  and  recognise  it.  Yet  that  which  is  significant  in 
itself,  not  in  its  relations,  the  real  unfolding  of  the  Idea, 
will  be  found  far  more  accurately  and  distinctly  in  poetry 
than  in  history,  and,  therefore,  however  paradoxical  it 
may  sound,  far  more  really  genuine  inner  truth  is  to  be 
attributed  to  poetry  than  to  history.  For  the  historian 
must  accurately  follow  the  particular  event  according  to 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA:   THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.    317 

life,  as  it  develops  itself  in  time  in  the  manifold  tangled 
chains  of  causes  and  effects.  It  is,  however,  impossible 
that  he  can  have  all  the  data  for  this  ;  he  cannot  have 
seen  all  and  discovered  all.  He  is  forsaken  at  every 
moment  by  the  original  of  his  picture,  or  a  false  one 
substitutes  itself  for  it,  and  this  so  constantly  that  I 
think  I  may  assume  that  in  all  history  the  false  out- 
weighs the  true.  The  poet,  on  the  contrary,  has  com- 
prehended the  Idea  of  man  from  some  definite  side  which 
is  to  be  represented ;  thus  it  is  the  nature  of  his  own 
self  that  objectifies  itself  in  it  for  him.  His  knowledge, 
as  we  explained  above  when  speaking  of  sculpture,  is 
half  a  priori;  his  ideal  stands  before  his  mind  firm, 
distinct,  brightly  illuminated,  and  cannot  forsake  him; 
therefore  he  shows  us,  in  the  mirror  of  his  mind,  the 
Idea  pure  and  distinct,  and  his  delineation  of  it 
down  to  the  minutest  particular  is  true  as  life  itself.1 
The  great  ancient  historians  are,  therefore,  in  those 
particulars  in  which  their  data  fail  them,  for  example, 
in  the  speeches  of  their  heroes — poets;  indeed  their 
whole    manner   of   handling    their    material    approaches 

1  It  is  scarcely  necessary  to  say  ally  a  greater  proneness  to  what  is 
that  wherever  I  speak  of  poets  I  perverse  and  dull  as  akin  to  itself, 
refer  exclusively  to  that  rare  pheno-  Therefore  these  works  of  the  mediocre 
menon  the  great  true  poet.  I  mean  poets  draw  it  away  and  hold  it  back 
no  one  else ;  least  of  all  that  dull  from  the  true  masterpieces  and  the 
insipid  tribe,  the  mediocre  poets,  education  they  afford,  and  thus  work- 
rhymsters,  and  inventors  of  fables,  ing  in  direct  antagonism  to  the  be- 
that  flourishes  so  luxuriantly  at  the  nign  influence  of  genius,  they  ruin 
present  day  in  Germany.  They  taste  more  and  more,  and  retard  the 
ought  rather  to  have  the  words  progress  of  the  age.  Such  poets 
shouted  in  their  ears  unceasingly  should  therefore  be  scourged  with 
from  all  sides —  criticism  and  satire  without  indul- 
,,  7 .  .,  .., .  gence  or  sympathy  till  they  are  in- 
Mediocribusessepoetis  3uced  fo/their  own  good,  to  apply 
Non  homines,  non  Dt,  non  concessere  thdr  muse  rather  to  reading  what 
columncB.  jg  g00(j  tjian  to  wrjting  what  is  bad. 
It  is  worthy  of  serious  consideration  For  if  the  bungling  of  the  incom- 
what  an  amount  of  time — both  their  petent  so  raised  the  wrath  of  the 
own  and  other  people's — and  paper  gentle  Apollo  that  he  could  flay 
is  lost  by  this  swarm  of  mediocre  Marsyas,  I  do  not  see  on  what  the 
poets,  and  how  injurious  is  their  mediocre  poets  will  base  their  claim 
influence.  For  the  public  always  to  tolerance, 
seizes  on  what  is  new,  and  has  natur- 


318  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  rk.  hi. 

to  the  epic.  But  this  gives  their  representations  unity, 
and  enables  them  to  retain  inner  truth,  even  when 
outward  truth  was  not  accessible,  or  indeed  was  falsified. 
And  as  we  compared  history  to  portrait-painting,  in 
contradistinction  to  poetry,  which  corresponds  to  his- 
torical painting,  we  find  that  Winckelmann's  maxim, 
that  the  portrait  ought  to  be  the  ideal  of  the  individual, 
was  followed  by  the  ancient  historians,  for  they  re- 
present the  individual  in  such  a  way  as  to  bring  out 
that  side  of  the  Idea  of  man  which  is  expressed  in  it 
Modern  historians,  on  the  contrary,  with  few  exceptions, 
give  us  in  general  only  "  a  dust-bin  and  a  lumber-room, 
and  at  the  most  a  chronicle  of  the  principal  political 
events."  Therefore,  whoever  desires  to  know  man  in  his 
inner  nature,  identical  in  all  its  phenomena  and  develop- 
ments, to  know  him  according  to  the  Idea,  will  find  that 
the  works  of  the  great,  immortal  poet  present  a  far 
truer,  more  distinct  picture,  than  the  historians  can  ever 
give.  For  even  the  best  of  the  historians  are,  as  poets, 
far  from  the  first;  and  moreover  their  hands  are  tied. 
In  this  aspect  the  relation  between  the  historian  and  the 
poet  may  be  illustrated  by  the  following  comparison. 
The  mere,  pure  historian,  who  works  only  according  to 
data,  is  like  a  man,  who  without  any  knowledge  of 
mathematics,  has  investigated  the  relations  of  certain 
figures,  which  he  has  accidentally  found,  by  measuring 
them;  and  the  problem  thus  empirically  solved  is 
affected  of  course  by  all  the  errors  of  the  drawn  figure. 
The  poet,  on  the  other  hand,  is  like  the  mathematician, 
who  constructs  these  relations  a  priori  in  pure  perception, 
and  expresses  them  not  as  they  actually  are  in  the 
drawn  figure,  but  as  they  are  in  the  Idea,  which  the 
drawing  is  intended  to  render  for  the  senses.  Therefore 
Schiller  says : — 

"  What  lias  never  anywhere  come  to  pass, 
That  alone  never  yrows  old." 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA  ;  THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.     }i9 

Indeed  I  must  attribute  greater  value  to  biographies,  and 
especially  to  autobiographies,  in  relation  to  the  know- 
ledge of  the  nature  of  man,  than  to  history  proper,  at 
least  as  it  is  commonly  handled.  Partly  because  in  the 
former  the  data  can  be  collected  more  accurately  and 
completely  than  in  the  latter ;  partly,  because  in  histoiy 
proper,  it  is  not  so  much  men  as  nations  and  heroes  that 
act,  and  the  individuals  who  do  appear,  seem  so  far  off, 
surrounded  with  such  pomp  and  circumstance,  clothed  in 
the  stiff  robes  of  state,  or  heavy,  inflexible  armour,  that 
it  is  really  hard  through  all  this  to  recognise  the  human 
movements.  On  the  other  hand,  the  life  of  the  individual 
when  described  with  truth,  in  a  narrow  sphere,  shows 
the  conduct  of  men  in  all  its  forms  and  subtilties,  the 
excellence,  the  virtue,  and  even  holiness  of  a  few,  the 
perversity,  meanness,  and  knavery  of  most,  the  dissolute 
profligacy  of  some.  Besides,  in  the  only  aspect  we  are 
considering  here,  that  of  the  inner  significance  of  the 
phenomenal,  it  is  quite  the  same  whether  the  objects 
With  which  the  action  is  concerned,  are,  relatively  con- 
sidered, trifling  or  important,  farm-houses  or  kingdoms : 
for  all  these  things  in  themselves  are  without  significance, 
and  obtain  it  only  in  so  far  as  the  will  is  moved  by 
them.  The  motive  has  significance  only  through  its 
relation  to  the  will,  while  the  relation  which  it  has 
as  a  thing  to  other  things  like  itself,  does  not  concern 
us  here.  As  a  circle  of  one  inch  in  diameter,  and  a 
circle  of  forty  million  miles  in  diameter,  have  precisely 
the  same  geometrical  properties,  so  are  the  events  and 
the  history  of  a  village  and  a  kingdom  essentially  the 
same ;  and  we  may  study  and  learn  to  know  mankind 
as  well  in  the  one  as  in  the  other.  It  is  also  a  mistake 
to  suppose  that  autobiographies  are  full  of  deceit  and 
dissimulation.  On  the  contrary,  lying  (though  always 
possible)  is  perhaps  more  difficult  there  than  elsewhere. 
Dissimulation  is  easiest  in  mere  conversation;  indeed, 
though    it    may    sound    paradoxical,   it    is    really  more 


1 


320  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  bk.  hi. 

difficult  even  in  a  letter.  For  in  the  case  of  a  letter  the 
writer  is  alone,  and  looks  into  himself,  and  not  out  on 
the  world,  so  that  what  is  strange  and  distant  does  not 
easily  approach  him ;  and  he  has  not  the  test  of  the 
impression  made  upon  another  before  his  eyes.  But  the 
receiver  of  the  letter  peruses  it  quietly  in  a  mood 
unknown  to  the  writer,  reads  it  repeatedly  and  at 
different  times,  and  thus  easily  finds  out  the  concealed 
intention.  We  also  get  to  know  an  author  as  a  man 
most  easily  from  his  books,  because  all  these  circumstances 
act  here  still  more  strongly  and  permanently.  And  in 
an  autobiography  it  is  so  difficult  to  dissimulate,  that 
perhaps  there  does  not  exist  a  single  one  that  is  not,  as 
a  whole,  more  true,  than  any  history  that  ever  was 
written.  The  man  who  writes  his  own  life  surveys  it  as 
a  whole,  the  particular  becomes  small,  the  near  becomes 
distant,  the  distant  becomes  near  again,  the  motives  that 
influenced  him  shrink ;  he  seats  himself  at  the  con- 
fessional, and  has  done  so  of  his  own  free  will ;  the 
spirit  of  lying  does  not  so  easily  take  hold  of  him  here, 
for  there  is  also  in  every  man  an  inclination  to  truth 
which  has  first  to  be  overcome  whenever  he  lies,  and 
which  here  has  taken  up  a  specially  strong  position. 
The  relation  between  biography  and  the  history  of  nations 
may  be  made  clear  for  perception  by  means  of  the 
following  comparison :  History  shows  us  mankind  as  a 
view  from  a  high  mountain  shows  us  nature  ;  we  see 
much  at  a  time,  wide  stretches,  great  masses,  but  nothing 
is  distinct  nor  recognisable  in  all  the  details  of  its  own 
peculiar  nature.  On  the  other  hand,  the  representation 
of  the  life  of  the  individual  shows  us  the  man,  as  we 
see  nature  if  we  go  about  among  her  trees,  plants,  rocks, 
and  waters.  But  in  landscape-painting,  in  which  the 
artist  lets  us  look  at  nature  with  his  eyes,  the  knowledge 
of  the  Ideas,  and  the  condition  of  pure  will-less  knowing, 
which  is  demanded  by  these,  is  made  much  easier  for  us ; 
and,  in   the  same  way,  poetry  is   far  superior   both   to 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA  :  THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.     321 

history  and  biography,  in  the  representation  of  the  Ideas 
which  may  be  looked  for  in  all  three.  For  here  also 
genius  holds  up  to  us  the  magic  glass,  in  which  all  that 
is  essential  and  significant  appears  before  us  collected 
and  placed  in  the  clearest  light,  and  what  is  accidental 
and  foreign  is  left  out.1 

The  representation  of  the  Idea  of  man,  which  is  the 
work  of  the  poet,  may  be  performed,  so  that  what  is 
represented  is  also  the  representor.  This  is  the  case  in 
lyrical  poetry,  in  songs,  properly  so  called,  in  which  the 
poet  only  perceives  vividly  his  own  state  and  describes 
it.  Thus  a  certain  subjectivity  is  essential  to  this  kind 
of  poetry  from  the  nature  of  its  object.  Again,  what  is 
to  be  represented  may  be  entirely  different  from  him  who 
represents  it,  as  is  the  case  in  all  other  kinds  of  poetry, 
in  which  the  poet  more  or  less  conceals  himself  behind 
his  representation,  and  at  last  disappears  altogether.  In 
the  ballad  the  poet  still  expresses  to  some  extent  his  own 
state  through  the  tone  and  proportion  of  the  whole ; 
therefore,  though  much  more  objective  than  the  lyric,  it 
has  yet  something  subjective.  This  becomes  less  in  the 
idyll,  still  less  in  the  romantic  poem,  almost  entirely 
disappears  in  the  true  epic,  and  even  to  the  last  vestige 
in  the  drama,  which  is  the  most  objective  and,  in  more 
than  one  respect,  the  completes t  and  most  difficult  form 
of  poetry.  The  lyrical  form  of  poetry  is  consequently 
/the  easiest,  and  although  art,  as  a  whole,  belongs  only  to 
the  true  man  of  genius,  who  so  rarely  appears,  even  a  man 
who  is  not  in  general  very  remarkable  may  produce  a 
beautiful  song  if,  by  actual  strong  excitement  from  without, 
some  inspiration  raises  his  mental  powers  ;  for  all  that  is 
required  for  this  is  a  lively  perception  of  his  own  state 
at  a  moment  of  emotional  excitement.  This  is  proved 
by  the  existence  of  many  single  songs  by  individuals  who 
have  otherwise  remained  unknown;  especially  the  German 
national  songs,  of  which  we  have  an  exquisite  collection 

1  Cf.  Ch.  xxxviii.  of  Supplement. 
VOL.  I.  X 


j22  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  BK.  ill. 

in  the  "  Wunderhorn ; "  and  also  by  innumerable  love- 
songs  and  other  songs  of  the  people  in  all  languages  ;— 
for  to  seize  the  mood  of  a  moment  and  embody  it  in  a 
song  is  the  whole  achievement  of  this  kind  of  poetry.  Yet 
in  the  lyrics  of  true  poets  the  inner  nature  of  all  man- 
kind is  reflected,  and  all  that  millions  of  past,  present, 
and  future  men  have  found,  or  will  find,  in  the  same 
situations,  which  are  constantly  recurring,  finds  its  exact 
expression  in  them.  And  because  these  situations,  by 
constant  recurrence,  are  permanent  as  man  himself  and 
always  call  up  the  same  sensations,  the  lyrical  produc- 
tions of  genuine  poets  remain  through  thousands  of  years 
true,  powerful,  and  fresh.  But  if  the  poet  is  always  the 
universal  man,  then  all  that  has  ever  moved  a  human 
heart,  all  that  human  nature  in  any  situation  has  ever 
produced  from  itself,  all  that  dwells  and  broods  in  any 
human  breast — is  his  theme  and  his  material,  and  also 
all  the  rest  of  nature.  Therefore  the  poet  may  just  as 
well  sing  of  voluptuousness  as  of  mysticism,  be  Anacreon 
or  Angelus  Silesius,  write  tragedies  or  comedies,  represent 
the  sublime  or  the  common  mind — according  to  humour 
or  vocation.  And  no  one  has  the  right  to  prescribe  to 
the  poet  what  he  ought  to  be — noble  and  sublime,  moral, 
pious,  Christian,  one  thing  or  another,  still  less  to  re- 
proach him  because  he  is  one  thing  and  not  another. 
He  is  the  mirror  of  mankind,  and  brings  to  its  conscious- 
ness what  it  feels  and  does. 

If  we  now  consider  more  closely  the  nature  of  the  lyric 
proper,  and  select  as  examples  exquisite  and  pure  models, 
not  those  that  approach  in  any  way  to  some  other  form 
of  poetry,  such  as  the  ballad,  the  elegy,  the  hymn,  the 
epigram,  &c,  we  shall  find  that  the  peculiar  nature  of 
the  lyric,  in  the  narrowest  sense,  is  this :  It  is  the  sub- 
ject of  will,  i.e.,  his  own  volition,  which  the  consciousness 
of  the  singer  feels;  often  as  a  released  and  satisfied 
desire  (joy),  but  still  oftener  as  a  restricted  desire  (grief), 
always  as  an  emotion,  a  passion,  a  moved  frame  of  mind. 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA  :  THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.     323 

Besides  this,  however,  and  along  with  it,  by  the  sight  of 
surrounding  nature,  the  singer  becomes  conscious  of  him- 
self as  the  subject  of  pure,  will-less  knowing,  whose 
unbroken  blissful  peace  now  appears,  in  contrast  to  the 
stress  of  desire  which  is  always  restricted  and  always 
needy.  The  feeling  of  this  contrast,  this  alternation,  is 
really  what  the  lyric  as  a  whole  expresses,  and  what 
principally  constitutes  the  lyrical  state  of  mind.  In  it 
pure  knowing  comes  to  us,  as  it  were,  to  deliver  us  from 
desire  and  its  stain ;  we  follow,  but  only  for  an  instant ; 
desire,  the  remembrance  of  our  own  personal  ends,  tears 
us  anew  from  peaceful  contemplation ;  yet  ever  again 
the  next  beautiful  surrounding  in  which  the  pure  will- 
less  knowledge  presents  itself  to  us,  allures  us  away  from 
desira  Therefore,  in  the  lyric  and  the  lyrical  mood,  de- 
sire (the  personal  interest  of  the  ends),  and  pure  percep- 
tion of  the  surrounding  presented,  are  wonderfully  mingled 
with  each  other ;  connections  between  them  are  sought  for 
and  imagined ;  the  subjective  disposition,  the  affection  of 
the  will,  imparts  its  own  hue  to  the  perceived  surrounding, 
and  conversely,  the  surroundings  communicate  the  reflex 
of  their  colour  to  the  will.  The  true  lyric  is  the  expres- 
sion of  the  whole  of  this  mingled  and  divided  state  of 
mind.  In  order  to  make  clear  by  examples  this  abstract 
analysis  of  a  frame  of  mind  that  is  very  far  from  all 
abstraction,  any  of  the  immortal  songs  of  Goethe  may  be 
taken.  As  specially  adapted  for  this  end  I  shall  recom- 
mend only  a  few  :  "  The  Shepherd's  Lament,"  "  Welcome 
and  Farewell,"  "To  the  Moon,"  "On  the  Lake,"  "Autumn;" 
also  the  songs  in  the  "  Wunderhorn  "  are  excellent  ex- 
amples ;  particularly  the  one  which  begins,  "  0  Bremen, 
I  must  now  leave  thee."  As  a  comical  and  happy 
parody  of  the  lyrical  character  a  song  of  Voss  strikes  me 
as  remarkable.  It  describes  the  feeling  of  a  drunk 
plumber  falling  from  a  tower,  who  observes  in  passing 
that  the  clock  on  the  tower  is  at  half-past  eleven,  a 
remark  which  is  quite  foreign  to  his  condition,  and  thus 


324 


THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  bk.  hi. 


belongs  to  knowledge  free  from  will.  Whoever  accepts 
the  view  that  has  been  expressed  of  the  lyrical  frame  of 
mind,  will  also  allow,  that  it  is  the  sensuous  and  poetical 
knowledge  of  the  principle  which  I  established  in  my 
essay  on  the  Principle  of  Sufficient  Reason,  and  have  also 
referred  to  in  this  work,  that  the  identity  of  the  subject 
of  knowing  with  that  of  willing  may  be  called  the 
miracle  /car  efo;^;  so  tnat  tne  Poetica^  effect  of  the 
lyric  rests  finally  on  the  truth  of  that  principle.  In  the 
course  of  life  these  two  subjects,  or,  in  popular  language, 
head  and  heart,  are  ever  becoming  further  apart;  men 
are  always  separating  more  between  their  subjective 
feeling  and  their  objective  knowledge.  In  the  child  the 
two  are  still  entirely  blended  together ;  it  scarcely  knows 
how  to  distinguish  itself  from  its  surroundings,  it  is 
at  one  with  them  In  the  young  man  all  perception 
chiefly  affects  feeling  and  mood,  and  even  mingles  with 
it,  as  Byron  very  beautifully  expresses — 

u  I  live  not  in  myself,  but  I  become 
Portion  of  that  around  me;  and  to  me 
High  mountains  are  a  feeling." 

This  is  why  the  youth  clings  so  closely  to  the  per- 
ceptible and  outward  side  of  things ;  this  is  why  he  is 
only  fit  for  lyrical  poetry,  and  only  the  full-grown  man 
is  capable  of  the  drama.  The  old  man  we  can  think  of 
as  at  the  most  an  epic  poet,  like  Ossian,  and  Homer, 
for  narration  is  characteristic  of  old  age. 

In  the  more  objective  kinds  of  poetry,  especially  in  the 
romance,  the  epic,  and  the  drama,  the  end,  the  revelation 
/  of  the  Idea  of  man,  is  principally  attained  by  two  means, 
yby  true  and  profound  representation  of  significant  charac- 
ters, and  by  the  invention  of  pregnant  situations  in  which 
-  they  disclose  themselves.     For  as  it  is  incumbent  upon 
the  chemist  not  only  to  exhibit  the  simple  elements,  pure 
and  genuine,  and  their  principal  compounds,  but  also  to 
expose  them  to  the  influence  of  such   reagents  as  will 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA:   THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.    325 

clearly  and  strikingly  bring  out  their  peculiar  qualities, 
so  is  it  incumbent  on  the  poet  not  only  to  present  to  us 
significant  characters  truly  and  faithfully  as  nature  itself ; 
but,  in  order  that  we  may  get  to  know  them,  he  must 
place  them  in  those  situations  in  which  their  peculiar 
qualities  will  fully  unfold  themselves,  and  appear  dis- 
tinctly in  sharp  outline ;  situations  which  are  therefore 
called  significant.  In  real  life,  and  in  history,  situations 
of  this  kind  are  rarely  brought  about  by  chance,  and 
they  stand  alone,  lost  and  concealed  in  the  multitude  of 
those  which  are  insignificant.  The  complete  significance 
of  the  situations  ought  to  distinguish  the  romance,  the 
epic,  and  the  drama  from  real  life  as  completely  as  the 
arrangement  and  selection  of  significant  characters.  In 
both,  however,  absolute  truth  is  a  necessary  condition  of 
their  effect,  and  want  of  unity  in  the  characters,  contra- 
diction either  of  themselves  or  of  the  nature  of  humanity 
in  general,  as  well  as  impossibility,  or  very  great  im- 
probability in  the  events,  even  in  mere  accessories,  offend 
just  as  much  in  poetry  as  badly  drawn  figures,  false  per- 
spective, or  wrong  lighting  in  painting.  For  both  in 
poetry  and  painting  we  demand  the  faithful  mirror  of  life, 
of  man,  of  the  world,  only  made  more  clear  by  the  re- 
presentation, and  more  significant  by  the  arrangement. 
For  there  is  only  one  end  of  all  the  arts,  the  represen- 
tation of  the  Ideas ;  and  their  essential  difference  lies 
simply  in  the  different  grades  of  the  objectification  of  will 
to  which  the  Ideas  that  are  to  be  represented  belong. 
This  also  determines  the  material  of  the  representation. 
Thus  the  arts  which  are  most  widely  separated  may  yet 
throw  light  on  each  other.  For  example,  in  order  to 
comprehend  fully  the  Ideas  of  water  it  is  not  sufficient  to 
see  it  in  the  quiet  pond  or  in  the  evenly-flowing  stream ; 
but  these  Ideas  disclose  themselves  fully  only  when  the 
water  appears  under  all  circumstances  and  exposed  to  all 
kinds  of  obstacles.  The  effects  of  the  varied  circum- 
stances   and  obstacles  give  it  the  opportunity   of  fully 


326  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  bk.  hi. 

exhibiting  all  its  qualities.  This  is  why  we  find  it 
beautiful  when  it  tumbles,  rushes,  and  foams,  or  leaps 
into  the  air,  or  falls  in  a  cataract  of  spray ;  or,  lastly,  if 
artificially  confined  it  springs  up  in  a  fountain.  Thus 
showing  itself  different  under  different  circumstances,  it 
yet  always  faithfully  asserts  its  character ;  it  is  just  as 
natural  to  it  to  spout  up  as  to  lie  in  glassy  stillness ;  it 
is  as  ready  for  the  one  as  for  the  other  as  soon  as  the 
circumstances  appear.  Now,  what  the  engineer  achieves 
with  the  fluid  matter  of  water,  the  architect  achieves  with 
the  rigid  matter  of  stone,  and  just  this  the  epic  or  dra- 
matic poet  achieves  with  the  Idea  of  man.  Unfolding 
and  rendering  distinct  the  Idea  expressing  itself  in  the 
object  of  every  art,  the  Idea  of  the  will  which  objectifies 
itself  at  each  grade,  is  the  common  end  of  all  the  arts. 
The  life  of  man,  as  it  shows  itself  for  the  most  part  in 
the  real  world,  is  like  the  water,  as  it  is  generally  seen  in 
the  pond  and  the  river ;  but  in  the  epic,  the  romance,  the 
tragedy,  selected  characters  are  placed  in  those  circum- 
stances in  which  all  their  special  qualities  unfold  them- 
selves, the  depths  of  the  human  heart  are  revealed,  and 
become  visible  in  extraordinary  and  very  significant 
actions.  Thus  poetry  objectifies  the  Idea  of  man,  an  Idea 
which  has  the  peculiarity  of  expressing  itself  in  highly 
individual  characters. 

Tragedy  is  to  be  regarded,  and  is  recognised  as  the 
summit  of  poetical  art,  both  on  account  of  the  greatness 
of  its  effect  and  the  difficulty  of  its  achievement.  It  is 
very  significant  for  our  whole  system,  and  well  worthy 
of  observation,  that  the  end  of  this  highest  poetical 
achievement  is  the  representation  of  the  terrible  side  of 
life.  The  unspeakable  pain,  the  wail  of  humanity,  the 
triumph  of  evil,  the  scornful  mastery  of  chance,  and  the 
irretrievable  fall  of  the  just  and  innocent,  is  here  pre- 
sented to  us ;  and  in  this  lies  a  significant  hint  of  the 
nature  of  the  world  and  of  existence.  It  is  the  strife  of 
j/will  with  itself,  which  here,  completely  unfolded  at  the 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA  :   THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.     327 

highest  grade  of  its  objectivity,  comes  into  fearful  pro- 
minence. It  becomes  visible  in  the  suffering  of  men, 
which  is  now  introduced,  partly  through  chance  and 
error,  which  appear  as  the  rulers  of  the  world,  personi- 
fied as  fate,  on  account  of  their  insidiousness,  which  even 
reaches  the  appearance  of  design  ;  partly  it  proceeds 
from  man  himself,  through  the  self-mortifying  efforts  of 
a  few,  through  the  wickedness  and  perversity  of  most. 
It  is  one  and  the  same  will  that  lives  and  appears  in 
them  all,  but  whose  phenomena  fight  against  each  other 
and  destroy  each  other.  In  one  individual  it  appears 
powerfully,  in  another  more  weakly ;  in  one  more  subject 
to  reason,  and  softened  by  the  light  of  knowledge,  in 
another  less  so,  till  at  last,  in  some  single  case,  this 
knowledge,  purified  and  heightened  by  suffering  itself, 
reaches  the  point  at  which  the  phenomenon,  the  veil  of 
Maya,  no  longer  deceives  it.  It  sees  through  the  form  V 
of  the  phenomenon,  the  principum  individuationis.  The 
egoism  which  rests  on  this  perishes  with  it,  so  that  now 
the  motives  that  were  so  powerful  before  have  lost  their 
might,  and  instead  of  them  the  complete  knowledge  of 
the  nature  of  the  world,  which  has  a  quieting  effect  on 
the  will,  produces  resignation,  the  surrender  not  merely 
of  life,  but  of  the  very  will  to  live.  Thus  we  see  in 
tragedies  the  noblest  men,  after  long  conflict  and  suffer- 
ing, at  last  renounce  the  ends  they  have  so  keenly 
followed,  and  all  the  pleasures  of  life  for  ever,  or  else 
freely  and  joyfully  surrender  life  itself.  So  is  it  with 
the  steadfast  prince  of  Calderon;  with  Gretchen  in 
"  Faust ; "  with  Hamlet,  whom  his  friend  Horatio  would 
willingly  follow,  but  is  bade  remain  a  while,  and  in 
this  harsh  world  draw  his  breath  in  pain,  to  tell  the 
story  of  Hamlet,  and  clear  his  memory ;  so  also  is  it 
with  the  Maid  of  Orleans,  the  Bride  of  Messina;  they 
all  die  purified  by  suffering,  i.e.,  after  the  will  to  live 
which  was  formerly  in  them  is  dead.  In  the  "  Moham- 
med "  of  Voltaire  this  is  actually  expressed  in  the  con- 


328  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  bk.  hi. 

eluding  words  which  the  dying  Palmira  addresses  to 
Mohammed  :  "  The  world  is  for  tyrants  :  live !  "  On  the 
other  hand,  the  demand  for  so-called  poetical  justice  rests 
on  entire  misconception  of  the  nature  of  tragedy,  and, 
indeed,  of  the  nature  of  the  world  itself.  It  boldly 
appears  in  all  its  dulness  in  the  criticisms  which  Dr. 
Samuel  Johnson  made  on  particular  plays  of  Shakspeare, 
for  he  very  naively  laments  its  entire  absence.  And  its 
absence  is  certainly  obvious,  for  in  what  has  Ophelia, 
Desdemona,  or  Cordelia  offended  ?  But  only  the  dull, 
optimistic,  Protestant-rationalistic,  or  peculiarly  Jewish 
view  of  life  will  make  the  demand  for  poetical  justice, 
and  find  satisfaction  in  it.  The  true  sense  of  tragedy  is 
,-the  deeper  insight,  that  it  is  not  his  own  individual  sins 
jr  that  the  hero  atones  for,  but  original  sin,  *.«.,  the  crime 
•   of  existence  itself : 

"  Pues  el  delito  mayor 
Del  hombre  es  haber  nacido  ; " 

("  For  the  greatest  crime  of  man 
Is  that  he  was  born  ; ") 

as  Calderon  exactly  expresses  it. 

I  shall  allow  myself  only  one  remark,  more  closely 
concerning  the  treatment  of  tragedy.  The  represen- 
tation of  a  great  misfortune  is  alone  essential  to  tragedy. 
But  the  many  different  ways  in  which  this  is  introduced 
by  the  poet  may  be  brought  under  three  specific  con- 
ceptions. It  may  happen  by  means  of  a  character  of 
extraordinary  wickedness,  touching  the  utmost  limits  of 
possibility,  who  becomes  the  author  of  the  misfortune; 
examples  of  this  kind  are  Richard  III.,  Iago  in  "  Othello," 
Shylock  in  "The  Merchant  of  Venice,"  Franz  Moor, 
Pheedra  of  Euripides,  Creon  in  the  "  Antigone,"  &c., 
&c.  Secondly,  it  may  happen  through  blind  fate,  ie., 
chance  and  error;  a  true  pattern  of  this  kind  is  the 
(Edipus  Rex  of  Sophocles,  the  "  Trachiniae "  also ;  and 
in  general  most  of  the  tragedies  of  the  ancients  belong 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA  :    THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.    329 

to  this  class.  Among  modern  tragedies,  "  Eomeo  and 
Juliet,"  "  Tancred "  by  Voltaire,  and  "  The  Bride  of 
Messina,"  are  examples.  Lastly,  the  misfortune  may  be 
brought  about  by  the  mere  position  of  the  dramatis 
persona  with  regard  to  each  other,  through  their  relations ; 
so  that  there  is  no  need  either  for  a  tremendous  error  or 
an  unheard-of  accident,  nor  yet  for  a  character  whose 
wickedness  reaches  the  limits  of  human  possibility  ;  but 
characters  of  ordinary  morality,  under  circumstances  such 
as  often  occur,  are  so  situated  with  regard  to  each  other 
that  their  position  compels  them,  knowingly  and  with 
their  eyes  open,  to  do  each  other  the  greatest  injury, 
without  any  one  of  them  being  entirely  in  the  wrong. 
This  last  kind  of  tragedy  seems  to  me  far  to  surpass 
the  other  two,  for  it  shows  us  the  greatest  misfor- 
tune, not  as  an  exception,  not  as  something  occasioned 
by  rare  circumstances  or  monstrous  characters,  but  as 
arising  easily  and  of  itself  out  of  the  actions  and 
characters  of  men,  indeed  almost  as  essential  to  them, 
and  thus  brings  it  terribly  near  to  us.  In  the  other 
two  kinds  we  may  look  on  the  prodigious  fate  and  the 
horrible  wickedness  as  terrible  powers  which  certainly 
threaten  us,  but  only  from  afar,  which  we  may  very  well 
escape  without  taking  refuge  in  renunciation.  But  in  the 
last  kind  of  tragedy  we  see  that  those  powers  which 
destroy  happiness  and  life  are  such  that  their  path  to  us 
also  is  open  at  every  moment ;  we  see  the  greatest 
sufferings  brought  about  by  entanglements  that  our  fate 
might  also  partake  of,  and  through  actions  that  perhaps 
we  also  are  capable  of  performing,  and  so  could  not 
complain  of  injustice  ;  then  shuddering  we  feel  ourselves 
already  in  the  midst  of  hell.  This  last  kind  of  tragedy 
is  also  the  most  difficult  of  achievement ;  for  the  greatest 
effect  has  to  be  produced  in  it  with  the  least  use  of 
means  and  causes  of  movement,  merely  through  the 
position  and  distribution  of  the  characters ;  therefore 
even  in  many  of  the    best    tragedies    this    difficulty   is 


33°  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 


BK.  III. 


evaded.  Yet  one  tragedy  may  be  referred  to  as  a  perfect 
model  of  this  kind,  a  tragedy  which  in  other  respects  is 
far  surpassed  by  more  than  one  work  of  the  same  great 
master;  it  is  "Clavigo."  "Hamlet"  belongs  to  a  certain 
extent  to  this  class,  as  far  as  the  relation  of  Hamlet  to 
Laertes  and  Ophelia  is  concerned.  "  Wallenstein"  has  also 
this  excellence.  "  Faust "  belongs  entirely  to  this  class,  if 
we  regard  the  events  connected  with  Gretchen  and  her 
brother  as  the  principal  action  ;  also  the  "  Cid  "  of  Cor- 
neille,  only  that  it  lacks  the  tragic  conclusion,  while  on 
the  contrary  the  analogous  relation  of  Max  to  Thecla 
has  it.1 

§  5  2.  Now  that  we  have  considered  all  the  fine  arts 
in  the  general  way  that  is  suitable  to  our  point  of  view, 
beginning  with  architecture,  the  peculiar  end  of  which  is 
to  elucidate  the  objectification  of  will  at  the  lowest  grades 
of  its  visibility,  in  which  it  shows  itself  as  the  dumb 
unconscious  tendency  of  the  mass  in  accordance  with 
laws,  and  yet  already  reveals  a  breach  of  the  unity  of 
will  with  itself  in  a  conflict  between  gravity  and  rigidity 
— and  ending  with  the  consideration  of  tragedy,  which 
presents  to  us  at  the  highest  grades  of  the  objectification 
of  will  this  very  conflict  with  itself  in  terrible  magni- 
tude and  distinctness  ;  we  find  that  there  is  still  another 
fine  art  which  has  been  excluded  from  our  consideration, 
and  had  to  be  excluded,  for  in  the  systematic  connection 
of  our  exposition  there  was  no  fitting  place  for  it — I 
mean  music.  It  stands  alone,  quite  cut  off  from  all  the 
other  arts.  In  it  we  do  not  recognise  the  copy  or 
repetition  of  any  Idea  of  existence  in  the  world.  Yet  it 
is  such  a  great  and  exceedingly  noble  art,  its  effect  on 
the  inmost  nature  of  man  is  so  powerful,  and  it  is  so 
entirely  and  deeply  understood  by  hi  in  in  his  inmost 
consciousness  as  a  perfectly  universal  language,  the 
distinctness  of  which  surpasses  even  that  of  the  per- 
ceptible world    itself,  that   we   certainly  have   mure  to 

1  Cf.  Ch.  xxxvii.  of  the  Supplement 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA  ;  THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.    331 

look  for  in  it  than  an  exercitum  arithmeticoe  occultum 
nescientis  se  numerare  animi,1  which  Leibnitz  called 
it.  Yet  he  was  perfectly  right,  as  he  considered 
only  its  immediate  external  significance,  its  form.  But 
if  it  were  nothing  more,  the  satisfaction  which  it 
affords  would  be  like  that  which  we  feel  when 
a  sum  in  arithmetic  comes  out  right,  and  could  not 
be  that  intense  pleasure  with  which  we  see  the  deepest 
recesses  of  our  nature  find  utterance.  From  our  stand- 
point, therefore,  at  which  the  aesthetic  effect  is  the 
criterion,  we  must  attribute  to  music  a  far  more  serious 
and  deep  significance,  connected  with  the  inmost  nature 
of  the  world  and  our  own  self,  and  in  reference  to  which 
the  arithmetical  proportions,  to  which  it  may  be  reduced, 
are  related,  not  as  the  thing  signified,  but  merely  as  the 
sign.  That  in  some  sense  music  must  be  related  to  the 
world  as  the  representation  to  the  thing  represented,  as 
the  copy  to  the  original,  we  may  conclude  from  the 
analogy  of  the  other  arts,  all  of  which  possess  this 
character,  and  affect  us  on  the  whole  in  the  same  way 
as  it  does,  only  that  the  effect  of  music  is  stronger, 
quicker,  more  necessary  and  infallible.  Further,  its 
representative  relation  to  the  world  must  be  very  deep, 
absolutely  true,  and  strikingly  accurate,  because  it  is 
instantly  understood  by  every  one,  and  has  the  appear- 
ance of  a  certain  infallibility,  because  its  form  may  be 
reduced  to  perfectly  definite  rules  expressed  in  numbers, 
from  which  it  cannot  free  itself  without  entirely  ceasing 
to  be  music.  Yet  the  point  of  comparison  between 
music  and  the  world,  the  respect  in  which  it  stands  to 
the  world  in  the  relation  of  a  copy  or  repetition,  is  very 
obscure.  Men  have  practised  music  in  all  ages  without 
being  able  to  account  for  this ;  content  to  understand  it 
directly,  they  renounce  all  claim  to  an  abstract  concep- 
tion of  this  direct  understanding  itself. 
/  I  gave  my  mind  entirely  up  to  the  impression  of  music 

1  Leibnitii  epistolae,  collectio  Kortholti,  ep.  154. 


V 


332  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  bk.  hi. 

in  all  its  forms,  and  then  returned  to  reflection  and  the 
system  of  thought  expressed  in  the  present  work,  and 
thus  I  arrived  at  an  explanation  of  the  inner  nature  of 
music  and  of  the  nature  of  its  imitative  relation  to  the 
world — which  from  analogy  had  necessarily  to  be  pre- 
supposed— an  explanation  which  is  quite  sufficient  for 
myself,  and  satisfactory  to  my  investigation,  and  which 
will  doubtless  be  equally  evident  to  any  one  who  has 
followed  me  thus  far  and  has  agreed  with  my  view  of 
the  world.  Yet  I  recognise  the  fact  that  it  is  essentially 
impossible  to  prove  this  explanation,  for  it  assumes  and 
establishes  a  relation  of  music,  as  idea,  to  that  which 
from  its  nature  can  never  be  idea,  and  music  will  have 
to  be  regarded  as  the  copy  of  an  original  which  can 
never  itself  be  directly  presented  as  idea.  I  can  therefore 
do  no  more  than  state  here,  at  the  conclusion  of  this 
third  book,  which  has  been  principally  devoted  to  the 
consideration  of  the  arts,  the  explanation  of  the  marvellous 
art  of  music  which  satisfies  myself,  and  I  must  leave  the 
acceptance  or  denial  of  my  view  to  the  effect  produced  upon 
each  of  my  readers  both  by  music  itself  and  by  the  whole 
system  of  thought  communicated  in  this  work.  More- 
over, I  regard  it  as  necessary,  in  order  to  be  able  to  assent 
with  full  conviction  to  the  exposition  of  the  significance 
of  music  I  am  about  to  give,  that  one  should  often  listen 
to  music  with  constant  reflection  upon  my  theory  con- 
cerning it,  and  for  this  again  it  is  necessary  to  be  very 
familiar  with  the  whole  of  my  system  of  thought. 

The  (Platonic)  Ideas  are  the  adequate  objectification  of 
will.  To  excite  or  suggest  the  knowledge  of  these  by 
means  of  the  representation  of  particular  things  (for 
works  of  art  themselves  are  always  representations  of 
particular  things)  is  the  end  of  all  the  other  arts,  which 
can  only  be  attained  by  a  corresponding  change  in  the 
knowing  subject.  Thus  all  these  arts  objectify  the  will 
indirectly  only  by  means  of  the  Ideas ;  and  since  our 
world  is  nothing  but  the  manifestation  of  the  Ideas  in 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA  :  THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.     333 

multiplicity,  though  their  entrance  into  the  principium 
individuationis  (the  form  of  the  knowledge  possible  for 
the  individual  as  such),  music  also,  since  it  passes  over 
the  Ideas,  is  entirely  independent  of  the  phenomenal 
world,  ignores  it  altogether,  could  to  a  certain  extent  exist 
if  there  was  no  world  at  all,  which  cannot  be  said  of  the 
other  arts.  Music  is  as  direct  an  objectification  and  copy  of 
the  whole  will  as  the  world  itself,  nay,  even  as  the  Ideas, 
whose  multiplied  manifestation  constitutes  the  world  of 
individual  things.  Music  is  thus  by  no  means  like  the 
other  arts,  the  copy  of  the  Ideas,  but  the  copy  of  the  will 
itself,  whose  objectivity  the  Ideas  are.  This  is  why  the 
effect  of  music  is  so  much  more  powerful  and  penetrating 
than  that  of  the  other  arts,  for  they  speak  only  of  shadows, 
but  it  speaks  of  the  thing  itself.  Since,  however,  it  is  the 
same  will  which  objectifies  itself  both  in  the  Ideas  and  in 
music,  though  in  quite  different  ways,  there  must  be,  not 
indeed  a  direct  likeness,  but  yet  a  parallel,  an  analogy, 
!  between  music  and  the  Ideas  whose  manifestation  in 
(  multiplicity  and  incompleteness  is  the  visible  world.  The 
establishing  of  this  analogy  will  facilitate,  as  an  illustra- 
tion, the  understanding  of  this  exposition,  which  is  so 
difficult  on  account  of  the  obscurity  of  the  subject. 

I  recognise  in  the  deepest  tones  of  harmony,  in  the 
>  bass,  the  lowest  grades  of  the  objectification  of  will,  T 
unorganised  nature,  the  mass  of  the  planet.  It  is  well 
known  that  all  the  high  notes  which  are  easily  sounded, 
and  die  away  more  quickly,  are  produced  by  the  vibration 
in  their  vicinity  of  the  deep  bass-notes.  When,  also,  the 
low  notes  sound,  the  high  notes  always  sound  faintly, 
and  it  is  a  law  of  harmony  that  only  those  high  notes 
may  accompany  a  bass -note  which  actually  already 
sound  along  with  it  of  themselves  (its  sons  harmoniques) 
on  account  of  its  vibration.  This  is  analogous  to  the  fact 
that  the  whole  of  the  bodies  and  organisations  of  nature 
must  be  regarded  as  having  come  into  existence  through 
gradual  development  out  of  the  mass  of  the  planet ;  thif 


334  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA. 


BK.  III. 


is  both  their  supporter  and  their  source,  and  the  same 
relation  subsists   between  the  high  notes  and  the  bass. 
<  There   is  a  limit  of  depth,  below  which   no   sound   is 
^    audible.     This  corresponds   to  the  fact  that  no  matter 
,  can  be  perceived  without  form  and  quality,  i.e.,  without 
the  manifestation  of  a  force  which  cannot  be  further  ex- 
plained, in  which  an   Idea  expresses  itself,  and,  more 
generally,  that  no  matter  can  be  entirely  without  wilL 
Thus,  as  a  certain  pitch  is  inseparable  from  the  note  as 
such,  so  a  certain  grade  of  the  manifestation  of  will  is 
inseparable  from  matter.      Bass  is  thus,  for  us,  in  har- 
mony what  unorganised  nature,  the  crudest  mass,  upon 
which  all  rests,  and  from  which  everything  originates  and 
develops,  is  in  the  world.     Now,  further,  in  the  whole  of 
the  complemental  parts  which  make  up  the  harmony  be- 
tween the  bass  and  the  leading  voice  singing  the  melody, 
I  recognise  the  whole  gradation  of  the  Ideas  in  which  the 
will  objectifies  itself.     Those  nearer  to  the  bass  are  the 
lower  of  these  grades,  the  still  unorganised,  but  yet  mani- 
fold phenomenal  things ;  the  higher  represent  to  me  the 
world  of  plants  and  beasts.     The  definite  intervals  of  the 
scale  are  parallel  to  the  definite  grades  of  the  objectifi- 
cation  of  will,  the  definite  species  in  nature.     The  de- 
parture from  the  arithmetical  correctness  of  the  intervals, 
through  some  temperament,  or   produced    by  the  key 
selected,  is  analogous  to  the  departure  of  the  individual 
from  the  type  of  the  species.     Indeed,  even  the  impure 
discords,  which  give  no  definite  interval,  may  be  com- 
pared to  the  monstrous  abortions  produced  by  beasts  of 
two  species,  or  by  man  and  beast.     But  to  all  these  bass 
and  complemental  parts  which  make  up  the  harmony 
there  is  wanting  that  connected  progress  which  belongs 
only  to  the  high  voice  singing  the  melody,  and  it  alone 
moves  quickly  and  lightly  in  modulations  and  runs,  while 
all  these  others  have  only  a  slower  movement  without  a 
^connection  in  each  part  for  itself.     The  deep  bass  moves 
*most  slowly,  the  representative  of  the  crudest  mass.     Its 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA  :  THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.    335 

rising  and  falling  occurs  only  by  large  intervals,  in  thirds, 
fourths,  fifths,  never  by  one  tone,  unless  it  is  a  base  in-  ( 
verted  by  double  counterpoint.  This  slow  movement  is  * 
also  physically  essential  to  it;  a  quick  run  or  shake  in 
the  low  notes  cannot  even  be  imagined.  The  higher 
complemental  parts,  which  are  parallel  to  animal  life, 
move  more  quickly,  but  yet  without  melodious  connec- 
tion and  significant  progress.  The  disconnected  course  of 
all  the  complemental  parts,  and  their  regulation  by 
definite  laws,  is  analogous  to  the  fact  that  in  the  whole 
irrational  world,  from  the  crystal  to  the  most  perfect 
animal,  no  being  has  a  connected  consciousness  of  its  own 
which  would  make  its  life  into  a  significant  whole,  and 
none  experiences  a  succession  of  mental  developments, 
none  perfects  itself  by  culture,  but  everything  exists 
always  in  the  same  way  according  to  its  kind,  determined 
by  fixed  law.  Lastly,  in  the  melody,  in  the  high,  singing, 
principal  voice  leading  the  whole  and  progressing  with  ' 
unrestrained  freedom,  in  the  unbroken  significant  connec- 
tion of  one  thought  from  beginning  to  end  representing  a 
whole,  I  recognise  the  highest  grade  of  the  object ification 
of  will,  the  intellectual  life  and  effort  of  man.  As  he 
alone,  because  endowed  with  reason,  constantly  looks 
before  and  after  on  the  path  of  his  actual  life  and  its 
innumerable  possibilities,  and  so  achieves  a  course  of  life 
which  is  intellectual,  and  therefore  connected  as  a  whole ; 
corresponding  to  this,  I  say,  the  melody  has  significant 
intentional  connection  from  beginning  to  end.  It  records, 
therefore,  the  history  of  the  intellectually  enlightened 
will.  This  will  expresses  itself  in  the  actual  world  as 
the  series  of  its  deeds ;  but  melody  says  more,  it  records 
the  most  secret  history  of  this  intellectually-enlightened 
will,  pictures  every  excitement,  every  effort,  every  move- 
ment of  it,  all  that  which  the  reason  collects  under  the 
wide  and  negative  concept  of  feeling,  and  which  it 
cannot  apprehend  further  through  its  abstract  con- 
cepts.    Therefore  it   has  always  been  said  that  music 


336  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  bk.  hi. 

is  the  language  of  feeling  and  of  passion,  as  words  are 
the  language  of  reason.  Plato  explains  it  as  17  roav 
fieXayv  Kivrjai^  fjL€fiifjLT)jM€VT)t  ev  toi<?  iraOrjfiaaiv  orav  ^rv^q 
yivrjTcu  (melodiarum  motus,  animi  affectus  imilans),  De 
Leg.  vii.;  and  also  Aristotle  says:  hia  rt  ol  pvOfioi  kcli  ra 
/jl€\tj,  (fxoprj  ovaa,  rjOeaw  eouce  (cur  numeri  musici  et  modi, 
qui  voces  sunt,  moribus  similes  sese  exhibent  ?) :  Probl.  c.  1 9. 
Now  the  nature  of  man  consists  in  this,  that  his  will 
strives,  is  satisfied  and  strives  anew,  and  so  on  for  ever. 
Indeed,  his  happiness  and  well-being  consist  simply  in 
the  quick  transition  from  wish  to  satisfaction,  and  from 
satisfaction  to  a  new  wish.  For  the  absence  of  satis- 
faction is  suffering,  the  empty  longing  for  a  new  wish, 
languor,  ennui.  And  corresponding  to  this  the  nature 
of  melody  is  a  constant  digression  and  deviation  from 
the  key-note  in  a  thousand  ways,  not  only  to  the  har- 
monious  intervals  to  the  .third  and  dominant,  but  to 
every  tone,  to  the  dissonant  sevenths  and  to  the  super- 
fluous  degrees;  yet  there  always  follows  a  constant 
return  to  the  key-note.  In  all  these  deviations  melody 
expresses  the  multifarious  efforts  of  will,  but  always  its 
satisfaction  also  by  the  final  return  to  an  harmonious 
interval,  and  still  more,  to  the  key-note.  The  composi- 
ton  of  melody,  the  disclosure  in  it  of  all  the  deepest 
secrets  of  human  willing  and  feeling,  is  the  work  of 
genius,  whose  action,  which  is  more  apparent  here  than 
anywhere  else,  lies  far  from  all  reflection  and  conscious 
Ljntention,  and  may  be  called  anf ~ inspirationj  The  con- 
ception is  here,  as  everywhere  in  art,  unfruitful  The 
composer  reveals  the  inner  nature  of  the  world,  and 
expresses  the  deepest  wisdom  in  a  language  which  his 
reasoiT  does  not  understand ;  as  a  person  under  the 
influence  of  mesmerism  tells  things  of  which  he  has  no 
conception  when  he  awakes.  Therefore  in  the  composer, 
I  more  than  in  any  other  artist,  the  man  is  entirely  sepa- 
|  rated  and  distinct  from  the  artist.  Even  in  the  explana- 
tion of  this  wonderful  art,  the  concept  shows  its  poverty 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA  :  THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.    337 

and  limitation.     I  shall   try,  however,  to  complete   our 
analogy.     As  quick  transition  from  wish  to  satisfaction, 
and  from  satisfaction  to  a  new  wish,  is  happiness  and 
well-being,  so  quick  melodies  without  great  deviations 
are  cheerful ;   slow  melodies,  striking    painful    discords, 
and  only  winding  back  through  many  bars  to  the  key- 
note are,  as  analogous  to  the  delayed  and  hardly  won 
satisfaction,  sad.     The  delay  of  the  new  excitement  of 
will,  languor,  could  have  no  other  expression  than  the 
sustained   keynote,  the  effect  of  which  would  soon   be 
unbearable;  very  monotonous  and  unmeaning  melodies 
approach  this  effect.     The  short  intelligible  subjects  of 
quick  dance-music  seem  to  speak  only  of  easily  attained 
common  pleasure.     On  the  other  hand,  the  Allegro  maes- 
toso, in   elaborate   movements,  long  passages,  and   wide 
deviations,  signifies  a  greater,   nobler    effort    towards  a 
more  distant  end,  and  its  final  attainment.     The  Adagio 
speaks   of  the  pain  of  a  great  and  noble  effort  which 
despises  all  trifling  happiness.     But  how  wonderful  is 
the  effect  of  the  minor  and  major!     How  astounding 
that  the  change  of  half  a  tone,  the  entrance  of  a  minor 
third  instead  of  a  major,  at  once  and  inevitably  forces 
upon  us  an  anxious  painful  feeling,  from  which  again  we 
are  just  as  instantaneously  delivered  by  the  major.     The 
Adagio  lengthens   in   the   minor   the  expression  of  the 
keenest   pain,    and   becomes    even    a    convulsive     wail. 
Dance-music  in  the  minor  seems  to  indicate  the  failure 
of  that   trifling   happiness    which    we   ought   rather  to 
despise,  seems  to  speak  of  the  attainment  of  a  lower  end 
with  toil  and  trouble.     The  inexhaustibleness  of  possible 
melodies  corresponds  to  the  inexhaustibleness  of  Nature 
in  difference  of  individuals,  physiognomies,  and  courses 
of   life.     The   transition   from   one   key  to   an  entirely 
different  one,  since  it  altogether  breaks  the  connection 
with  what  went  before,  is  like  death,  for  the  individual 
ends  in  it ;  but   the  will  which  appeared  in  this  indi- 
vidual lives  after  him  as  before  him,  appearing  in  other 
vol.  1.  Y 


338  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  bk.  in. 

individuals,  whose  consciousness,  however,  has  no  connec- 
tion with  his. 

But  it  must  never  be  forgotten,  in  the  investigation  of 
all  these  analogies  I  have  pointed  out,  that  music  has  no 
direct,  but  merely  an  indirect  relation  to  them,  for  it 
never  expresses   the    phenomenon,  but   only   the   inner 
nature,  the  in-itself  of   all   phenomena,  the   will   itself. 
It  does  not  therefore  express  this  or  that  particular  and 
definite  joy,  this  or  that  sorrow,  or  pain,  or  horror,  or 
delight,  or  merriment,  or  peace  of  mind  ;  but  joy,  sor- 
row,  pain,   horror,   delight,    merriment,   peace    of    mind 
themselves,   to   a   certain    extent    in    the   abstract,   their 
essential  nature,  without  accessories,  and  therefore  with- 
out their  motives.     Yet  we  completely  understand  them 
in  this  extracted  quintessence.     Hence  it  arises  that  our 
imagination  is  so  easily  excited  by  music,  and  now  seeks 
to  give  form  to  that  invisible  yet  actively  moved  spirit- 
world  which  speaks  to  us  directly,  and  clothe  it  with 
flesh   and    blood,   i.e.,   to    embody   it    in    an    analogous 
example.      This  is  the  origin  of  the  song  with  words, 
and  finally  of  the  opera,  the  text  of  which  should  there- 
fore never  forsake  that  subordinate  position  in  order  to 
make  itself  the  chief  thing  and  the  music  a  mere  means 
of  expressing  it,  which  is  a  great  misconception  and  a 
piece   of  utter  perversity;    for  music  always  expresses 
only  the  quintessence  of  life  and  its  events,  never  these 
themselves,  and  therefore  their  differences  do  not  always 
atfect  it     It  is  precisely  this  universality,  which  belongs 
exclusively  to  it,  together  with  the  greatest  determinate- 
ness,  that  gives  music  the  high  worth  which  it  has  as  the 
panacea  for  all  our  woes.     Thus,  if  music  is  too  closely 
united  to  the  words,  and  tries  to  form  itself  according  to 
the  events,  it  is  striving  to  speak  a  language  which  is 
not  its  own.     No  one  has  kept  so  free  from  this  mistake 
y.  as  Eossini;  therefore  his  music  speaks  its  own  language 
so  distinctly  and  purely  that  it  requires  no  words,  and 
produces  its  full  effect  when  rendered  by  instruments  alone 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA:   THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.     339 

According  to  all  this,  we  may  regard  the  phenomenal  \T 
world,  or  nature,  and  music  as  two  different  expressions  \^_ 
of  the  same  thing,  which  is  therefore  itself  the  only 
medium  of  their  analogy,  so  that  a  knowledge  of  it  is 
demanded  in  order  to  understand  that  analogy.  Music, 
therefore,  if  regarded  as  an  expression  of  the  world,  is  in 
the  highest  degree  a  universal  language,  which  is  related  \ 
indeed  to  the  universality  of  concepts,  much  as  they  are  f 
related  to  the  particular  things.  Its  universality,  how- 
ever, is  by  no  means  that  empty  universality  of  abstrac- 
tion, but  quite  of  a  different  kind,  and  is  united  with 
thorough  and  distinct  definiteness.  In  this  respect  it 
resembles  geometrical  figures  and  numbers,  which  are  the 
universal  forms  of  all  possible  objects  of  experience  and 
applicable  to  them  all  a 'priori,  and  yet  are  not  abstract 
but  perceptible  and  thoroughly  determined.  All  possible 
efforts,  excitements,  and  manifestations  of  will,  all  that 
goes  on  in  the  heart  of  man  and  that  reason  includes  in 
the  wide,  negative  concept  of  feeling,  may  be  expressed 
by  the  infinite  number  of  possible  melodies,  but  always  \ 
in  the  universal,  in  the  mere  form,  without  the  material, 
always  according  to  the  thing-in-itself,  not  the  pheno- 
menon, the  inmost  soul,  as  it  were,  of  the  phenomenon, 
without  the  body.  This  deep  relation  which  music  has  to 
the  true  nature  of  all  things  also  explains  the  fact  that 
suitable  music  played  to  any  scene,  action,  event,  or  sur-  - 
rounding  seems  to  disclose  to  us  its  most  secret  meaning, 
and  appears  as  the  most  accurate  and  distinct  commen- 
tary upon  it.  This  is  so  truly  the  case,  that  whoever 
gives  himself  up  entirely  to  the  impression  of  a  symphony, 
seems  to  see  all  the  possible  events  of  life  and  the  world 
take  place  in  himself,  yet  if  he  reflects,  he  can  find  no 
likeness  between  the  music  and  the  things  that  passed 
before  his  mind.  For,  as  we  have  said,  music  is  dis- 
tinguished from  all  the  other  arts  by  the  fact  that  it  is 
not  a  copy  of  the  phenomenon,  or,  more  accurately,  the 
adequate  objectivity  of  will,  but  is  the  direct  copy  of  the 


340  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  bk.  hi 

will  itself,  and  therefore  exhibits  itself  as  the  meta-  \ 
physical  to  everything  physical  in  the  world,  and  as  the  \ 
thing-in-itself  to  every  phenomenon.  We  might,  there- 
fore, just  as  well  call  the  world  embodied  music  as  / 
embodied  will ;  and  this  is  the  reason  why  music  makes 
every  picture,  and  indeed  every  scene  of  real  life  and  of 
the  world,  at  once  appear  with  higher  significance,  cer- 
tainly all  the  more  in  proportion  as  its  melody  is 
analogous  to  the  inner  spirit  of  the  given  phenomenon. 
It  rests  upon  this  that  we  are  able  to  set  a  poem  to 
music  as  a  song,  or  a  perceptible  representation  as  a  panto- 
mime, or  both  as  an  opera.  Such  particular  pictures  of 
human  life,  set  to  the  universal  language  of  music,  are  never 
bound  to  it  or  correspond  to  it  with  stringent  necessity ;  but 
they  stand  to  it  only  in  the  relation  of  an  example  chosen 
at  will  to  a  general  concept.  In  the  determinateness 
of  the  real,  they  represent  that  which  music  expresses  in 
the  universality  of  mere  form.  For  melodies  are  to  a 
certain  extent,  like  general  concepts,  an  abstraction  from 
the  actual.  This  actual  world,  then,  the  world  of  par- 
ticular things,  affords  the  object  of  perception,  the  special 
and  individual,  the  particular  case,  both  to  the  universality 
of  the  concepts  and  to  the  universality  of  the  melodies. 
But  these  two  universalities  are  in  a  certain  respect 
opposed  to  each  other ;  for  the  concepts  contain  particulars 
only  as  the  first  forms  abstracted  from  perception,  as  it 
were,  the  separated  shell  of  things ;  thus  they  are,  strictly 
speaking,  abstracta ;  music,  on  the  other  hand,  gives  the 
inmost  kernel  which  precedes  all  forms,  or  the  heart  of 
things.  This  relation  may  be  very  well  expressed  in  the 
language  of  the  schoolmen  by  saying  the  concepts  are 
the  universalia  post  rem,  but  music  gives  the  universalia 
ante  rem,  and  the  real  world  the  universalia  in  re.  To  the 
universal  significance  of  a  melody  to  which  a  poem  has 
been  set,  it  is  quite  possible  to  set  other  equally  arbitrarily 
selected  examples  of  the  universal  expressed  in  this  poem 
corresponding  to  the  significance  of  the  melody  in  the 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA  :   THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.     341 

same  degree.  This  is  why  the  same  composition  is  suit- 
able to  many  verses ;  and  this  is  also  what  makes  the 
vaudeville  possible.  But  that  in  general  a  relation  is 
possible  between  a  composition  and  a  perceptible  repre- 
sentation rests,  as  we  have  said,  upon  the  fact  that  both 
are  simply  different  expressions  of  the  same  inner  being 
of  the  world.  When  now,  in  the  particular  case,  such  a 
relation  is  actually  given,  that  is  to  say,  when  the  com- 
poser has  been  able  to  express  in  the  universal  language 
of  music  the  emotions  of  will  which  constitute  the  heart 
of  an  event,  then  the  melody  of  the  song,  the  music  of 
the  opera,  is  expressive.  But  the  analogy  discovered  by 
the  composer  between  the  two  must  have  proceeded  from 
the  direct  knowledge  of  the  nature  of  the  world  unknown 
to  his  reason,  and  must  not  be  an  imitation  produced 
with  conscious  intention  by  means  of  conceptions,  other- 
wise the  music  does  not  express  the  inner  nature  of  the 
will  itself,  but  merely  gives  an  inadequate  imitation  of 
its  phenomenon.  All  specially  imitative  music  does  this ; 
for  example,  "  The  Seasons,"  by  Haydn ;  also  many  pas- 
sages of  his  "  Creation,"  in  which  phenomena  of  the  ex- 
ternal world  are  directly  imitated;  also  all  battle-pieces. 
Such  music  is  entirely  to  be  rejected. 

The  unutterable  depth  of  all  music  by  virtue  of  which 
it  floats  through  our  consciousness  as  the  vision  of  a 
paradise  firmly  believed  in  yet  ever  distant  from  us,  and 
by  which  also  it  is  so  fully  understood  and  yet  so  inex- 
plicable, rests  on  the  fact  that  it  restores  to  us  all  the 
emotions  of  our  inmost  nature,  but  entirely  without 
reality  and  far  removed  from  their  pain.  So  also  the 
seriousness  which  is  essential  to  it,  which  excludes  the 
absurd  from  its  direct  and  peculiar  province,  is  to  be 
explained  by  the  fact  that  its  object  is  not  the  idea,  with 
reference  to  which  alone  deception  and  absurdity  are 
possible ;  but  its  object  is  directly  the  will,  and  this  is 
essentially  the  most  serious  of  all  things,  for  it  is  that  on 
which  all  depends.     How  rich  in  content  and  full  of 


342  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  bk.  in. 

significance  the  language  of  music  is,  we  see  from  the 
repetitions,  as  well  as  the  Da  capo,  the  like  of  which 
would  be  unbearable  in  works  composed  in  a  language 
of  words,  but  in  music  are  very  appropriate  and  beneficial, 
for,  in  order  to  comprehend  it  fully,  we  must  hear  it 
twice. 

In  the  whole  of  this  exposition  of  music  I  have  been 
trying  to  bring  out  clearly  that  it  expresses  in  a  perfectly 
universal  language,  in  a  homogeneous  material,  mere  tones, 
and  with  the  greatest  determinateness  and  truth,  the  inner 
nature,  the  in-itself  of  the  world,  which  we  think  under 
the  concept  of  will,  because  will  is  its  most  distinct 
manifestation.  Further,  according  to  my  view  and  con- 
tention, philosophy  is  nothing  but  a  complete  and  accurate 
repetition  or  expression  of  the  nature  of  the  world  in 
very  general  concepts,  lor  only  in  such  is  it  possible  to 
get  a  view  of  that  whole  nature  which  will  everywhere 
be  adequate  and  applicable.  Thus,  whoever  has  followed 
me  and  entered  into  my  mode  of  thought,  will  not  think 
it  so  very  paradoxical  if  I  say,  that  supposing  it  were 
possible  to  give  a  perfectly  accurate,  complete  explana- 
tion of  music,  extending  even  to  particulars,  that  is  to 
say,  a  detailed  repetition  in  concepts  of  what  it  expresses, 
this  would  also  be  a  sufficient  repetition  and  explanation 
of  the  world  in  concepts,  or  at  least  entirely  parallel  to 
such  an  explanation,  and  thus  it  would  be  the  true 
philosophy.  Consequently  the  saying  of  Leibnitz  quoted 
above,  which  is  quite  accurate  from  a  lower  standpoint, 
may  be  parodied  in  the  following  way  to  suit  our  higher 
view  of  music :  Miisica  est  exercitium  metaphysices  occul- 
tum  nescientis  se  philosophari  animi  ;  for  scire,  to  know, 
always  means  to  have  fixed  in  abstract  concepts.  But 
further,  on  account  of  the  truth  of  the  saying  of  Leibnitz, 
which  is  confirmed  in  various  ways,  music,  regarded  apart 
from  its  aesthetic  or  inner  significance,  and  looked  at 
merely  externally  and  purely  empirically,  is  simply  the 
means  of   comprehending  directly  and   in   the  concrete 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA:   THE  OBJECT  OP  ART.     343 

large  numbers  and  complex  relations  of  numbers,  which 
otherwise  we  could  only  know  indirectly  by  fixing  them 
in  concepts.  Therefore  by  the  union  of  these  two  very 
different  but  correct  views  of  music  we  may  arrive  at  a 
conception  of  the  possibility  of  a  philosophy  of  number, 
such  as  that  of  Pythagoras  and  of  the  Chinese  in  Y-King, 
and  then  interpret  in  this  sense  the  saying  of  the  Pytha- 
goreans which  Sextus  Empiricus  quotes  (adv.  Math.,  L. 
vii.) :  r<p  api6}i(p  Be  ra  Train  eireoiicev  (iiumero  cuncta 
assimilantur).  And  if,  finally,  we  apply  this  view  to  the 
interpretation  of  harmony  and  melody  given  above,  we 
shall  find  that  a  mere  moral  philosophy  without  an 
explanation  of  Nature,  such  as  Socrates  wanted  to  intro- 
duce, is  precisely  analogous  to  a  mere  melody  without 
harmony,  which  Eousseau  exclusively  desired ;  and,  in 
opposition  to  this  mere  physics  and  metaphysics  without 
ethics,  will  correspond  to  mere  harmony  without  melody. 
Allow  me  to  add  to  these  cursory  observations  a  few  more 
remarks  concerning  the  analogy  of  music  with  the  pheno- 
menal world.  We  found  in  the  second  book  that  the 
highest  grade  of  the  objectification  of  will,  man,  could  not 
appear  alone  and  isolated,  but  presupposed  the  grades 
below  him,  as  these  again  presupposed  the  grades  lower 
still  In  the  same  way  music,  which  directly  objectifies 
the  will,  just  as  the  world  does,  is  complete  only  in  full 
harmony.  In  order  to  achieve  its  full  effect,  the  high 
leading  voice  of  the  melody  requires  the  accompaniment 
of  all  the  other  voices,  even  to  the  lowest  bass,  which  is 
to  be  regarded  as  the  origin  of  all.  The  melody  itself 
enters  as  an  integral  part  into  the  harmony,  as  the  har- 
mony enters  into  it,  and  only  thus,  in  the  full  harmonious 
whole,  music  expresses  what  it  aims  at  expressing.  Thus 
also  the  one  will  outside  of  time  finds  its  full  objectifica- 
tion only  in  the  complete  union  of  all  the  steps  which 
reveal  its  nature  in  the  innumerable  ascending  grades  of 
distinctness.  The  following  analogy  is  also  very  remark- 
able.    We  have  seen  in  the  preceding  book  that  not- 


344  THE  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  bk.  hi. 

withstanding  the  self-adaptation  of  all  the  phenomena  of 
will  to  each  other  as  regards  their  species,  which  con- 
stitutes their  teleological  aspect,   there   yet  remains  an 
unceasing   conflict    between   those   phenomena  as    indi- 
viduals, which  is  visible  at  every  grade,  and  makes  the 
world  a  constant  battle-field  of  all  those  manifestations 
of  one  and  the  same  will,  whose  inner  contradiction  with 
itself  becomes  visible  through  it.     In  music  also  there 
is  something  corresponding  to  this.     A  complete,  pure, 
harmon  ous  system  of  tones  is  not  only  physically  but 
arithmetically  impossible.     The  numbers  themselves  by 
which  the   tones  are  expressed   have  inextricable  irra- 
tionality.    There  is  no  scale  in  which,  when  it  is  counted, 
every  fifth  will    be  related  to  the  keynote  as  2  to   3, 
every  major  third  as  4  to  5,  every  minor  third  as  5  to  6, 
and  so  on.     For  if  they  are  correctly  related  to  the  key- 
note, they  can  no  longer  be  so  to  each  other ;  because, 
for  example,  the  fifth  must  be  the  minor  third  to  the 
third,  &c.     For  the  notes  of  the  scale  may  be  compared 
to  actors  who  must   play  now  one   part,   now  another. 
Therefore  a  perfectly  accurate  system  of  music  cannot 
even    be    thought,   far    less   worked   out;    and    on   this 
account  all  possible  music  deviates  from  perfect  purity ; 
it  can  only  conceal  the  discords  essential  to  it  by  dividing 
them  among  all  the  notes,  ie.,  by  temperament.     On  this 
see  Chladni's  "Akustik,"  §  30,  and  his  "Kurze  Uebersicht 
der  Schall-  und  Klanglehre."  x 

I  might  still  have  something  to  say  about  the  way  in 
which  music  is  perceived,  namely,  in  and  through  time 
alone,  with  absolute  exclusion  of  space,  and  also  apart 
from  the  influence  of  the  knowledge  of  causality,  thus 
without  understanding ;  for  the  tones  make  the  aesthetic 
impression  as  effect,  and  without  obliging  us  to  go  back 
to  their  causes,  as  in  the  case  of  perception.  I  do  not 
wish,  however,  to  lengthen  this  discussion,  as  I  have  per- 
haps already  gone  too  much  into  detail  with  regard  to 

1  Cf.  Ch.  xxxix.  of  Supplement. 


THE  PLATONIC  IDEA:   THE  OBJECT  OF  ART.     345 

some  things  in  this  Third  Book,  or  have  dwelt  too  much 
on  particulars.  But  my  aim  made  it  necessary,  and  it 
will  be  the  less  disapproved  if  the  importance  and  high 
worth  of  art,  which  is  seldom  sufficiently  recognised,  be 
kept  in  mind.  For  if,  according  to  our  view,  the  whole 
visible  world  is  just  the  objectification,  the  mirror,  of  the 
will,  conducting  it  to  knowledge  of  itself,  and,  indeed,  as 
we  shall  soon  see,  to  the  possibility  of  its  deliverance ; 
and  if,  at  the  same  time,  the  world  as  idea,  if  we  regard 
it  in  isolation,  and,  freeing  ourselves  from  all  volition, 
allow  it  alone  to  take  possession  of  our  consciousness,  is 
the  most  joy-giving  and  the  only  innocent  side  of  life ;  we 
must  regard  art  as  the  higher  ascent,  the  more  complete 
development  of  all  this,  for  it  achieves  essentially  just 
what  is  achieved  by  the  visible  world  itself,  only  with 
greater  concentration,  more  perfectly,  with  intention  and 
intelligence,  and  therefore  may  be  called,  in  the  full 
significance  of  the  word,  the  flower  of  life.  If  the  whole 
world  as  idea  is  only  the  visibility  of  will,  the  work  of 
art  is  to  render  this  visibility  more  distinct.  It  is  the 
camera  obscura  which  shows  the  objects  more  purely,  and 
enables  us  to  survey  them  and  comprehend  them  better. 
It  is  the  play  within  the  play,  the  stage  upon  the  stage  t— 
in  "  Hamlet." 

The  pleasure  we  receive  from  all  beauty,  the  consola- 
tion which  art  affords,  the  enthusiasm  of  the  artist,  which 
enables  him  to  forget  the  cares  of  life, — the  latter  an 
advantage  of  the  man  of  genius  over  other  men,  which 
alone  repays  him  for  the  suffering  that  increases  in  pro- 
portion to  the  clearness  of  consciousness,  and  for  the 
desert  loneliness  among  men  of  a  different  race, — all  this 
rests  on  the  fact  that  the  in-itself  of  life,  the  will,  exist- 
ence itself,  is,  as  we  shall  see  farther  on,  a  constant 
sorrow,  partly  miserable,  partly  terrible;  while,  on  the 
contrary,  as  idea  alone,  purely  contemplated,  or  copied 
by  art,  free  from  pain,  it  presents  to  us  a  drama  full  of 
significance.     This   purely  knowable  side  of  the  world, 


346  TUB  WORLD  AS  IDEA.  bk.  in. 

and  the  copy  of  it  in  any  art,  is  the  element  of  the 
artist.  He  is  chained  to  the  contemplation  of  the  play, 
the  objectification  of  will;  he  remains  beside  it,  does 
not  get  tired  of  contemplating  it  and  representing  it  in 
copies ;  and  meanwhile  he  bears  himself  the  cost  of  the 
production  of  that  play,  i.e.,  he  himself  is  the  will  which 
objectifies  itself,  and  remains  in  constant  suffering.  That 
pure,  true,  and  deep  knowledge  of  the  inner  nature  of 
the  world  becomes  now  for  him  an  end  in  itself :  he  stops 
there.  Therefore  it  does  not  become  to  him  a  quieter  of 
the  will,  as,  we  shall  see  in  the  next  book,  it  does  in  the 
case  of  the  saint  who  has  attained  to  resignation ;  it  does 
not  deliver  him  for  ever  from  life,  but  only  at  moments, 
and  is  therefore  not  for  him  a  path  out  of  life,  but  only 
an  occasional  consolation  in  it,  till  his  power,  increased 
by  this  contemplation  and  at  last  tired  of  the  play,  lays 
hold  on  the  real.  The  St  Cecilia  of  Kaphael  may  be 
regarded  as  a  representation  of  this  transition.  To  the 
real,  then,  we  now  turn  in  the  following  book. 


Jourtjj  JSoofu 

THE    WORLD   AS    WILL 


SECOND   ASPECT. 

fHE   ASSERTION    AND    DENIAL    OF   THE    WILL   TO    LIVE,    WHEN 
SELF-CONSCIOUSNESS    HAS    BEEN   ATTAINED. 

Tempore  quo  cognitio  simul  advenit,  amor  e  medio  supersurrexit.— - 
Oupnek'hat,  Studio  AnquetU  Duperron,  vol.  ii.  p.  216. 


(    349    ) 


IV. 


§  53*  The  last  part  of  our  work  presents  itself  as  the 
most  serious,  for  it  relates  to  the  action  of  men,  the 
matter  which  concerns  every  one  directly  and  can  be 
foreign  or  indifferent  to  none.  It  is  indeed  so  charac- 
teristic of  the  nature  of  man  to  relate  everything  else  to 
action,  that  in  every  systematic  investigation  he  will 
always  treat  the  part  that  has  to  do  with  action  as  the 
result  or  outcome  of  the  whole  work,  so  far,  at  least,  as 
it  interests  him,  and  will  therefore  give  his  most  serious 
attention  to  this  part,  even  if  to  no  other.  In  this 
respect  the  following  part  of  our  work  would,  in  ordinary 
language,  be  called  practical  philosophy,  in  opposition  to 
the  theoretical,  which  has  occupied  us  hitherto.  But,  in 
my  opinion,  all  philosophy  is  theoretical,  because  it  is 
essential  to  it  that  it  should  retain  a  purely  contempla- 
tive attitude,  and  should  investigate,  not  prescribe.  To 
become,  on  the  contrary,  practical,  to  guide  conduct,  to 
transform  character,  are  old  claims,  which  with  fuller 
insight  it  ought  finally  to  give  up.  For  here,  where  the 
worth  or  worth lessness  of  an  existence,  where  salvation 
or  damnation  are  in  question,  the  dead  conceptions  of 
philosophy  do  not  decide  the  matter,  but  the  inmost 
nature  of  man  himself,  the  Diemon  that  guides  him  and 
that  has  not  chosen  him,  but  been  chosen  by  him,  as 
Plato  would  say ;  his  intelligible  character,  as  Kant 
expresses  himself.  Virtue  cannot  be  taught  any  more 
than  genius ;  indeed,  for  it  the  concept  is  just  as  unfruit- 
ful as  it  is  in  art,  and  in  both  cases  can  onlv  be  used  as 


350  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  wc.  iv. 

an  instrument.  It  would,  therefore,  be  just  as  absurd  to 
expect  that  our  moral  systems  and  ethics  will  produce 
virtuous,  noble,  and  holy  men,  as  that  our  aesthetics  will 
produce  poets,  painters,  and  musicians. 

Philosophy  can  never  do  more  than  interpret  and 
explain  what  is  given.  It  can  only  bring  to  distinct 
abstract  knowledge  of  the  reason  the  nature  of  the  world 
which  in  the  concrete,  that  is,  as  feeling,  expresses  itself 
comprehensibly  to  every  one.  This,  however,  it  does  in 
every  possible  reference  and  from  every  point  of  view. 
Now,  as  this  attempt  has  been  made  from  other  points  of 
view  in  the  three  preceding  books  with  the  generality 
that  is  proper  to  philosophy,  in  this  book  the  action  of 
men  will  be  considered  in  the  same  way ;  and  this  side 
of  the  world  might,  indeed,  be  considered  the  most  im- 
portant of  all,  not  only  subjectively,  as  I  remarked  above, 
but  also  objectively.  In  considering  it  I  shall  faithfully 
adhere  to  the  method  I  have  hitherto  followed,  and  shall 
support  myself  by  presupposing  all  that  has  already  been 
advanced.  There  is,  indeed,  just  one  thought  which  forms 
the  content  of  this  whole  work.  I  have  endeavoured  to 
work  it  out  in  all  other  spheres,  and  I  shall  now  do  so 
with  regard  to  human  action.  I  shall  then  have  done 
all  that  is  in  my  power  to  communicate  it  as  fully  as 
possible. 

The  given  point  of  view,  and  the  method  of  treatment 
announced,  are  themselves  sufficient  to  indicate  that  in 
this  ethical  book  no  precepts,  no  doctrine  of  duty  must 
be  looked  for;  still  less  will  a  general  moral  principle 
be  given,  an  universal  receipt,  as  it  were,  for  the  produc- 
tion of  all  the  virtues.  Neither  shall  we  talk  of  an 
"  absolute  ought"  for  this  contains  a  contradiction,  as  is 
explained  in  the  Appendix ;  nor  yet  of  a  "  law  of  freedom!* 
which  is  in  the  same  position.  In  general,  we  shall  not 
speak  at  all  of  "ought,"  for  this  is  how  one  speaks  to 
children  and  to  nations  still  in  their  childhood,  but  not 
to  those  who  have  appropriated  all  the  culture  of  a  full- 


THE  ASSERTION  AND  DENIAL  OF  THE   WILL.     351 

grown  age.  It  is  a  palpable  contradiction  to  call  the 
will  free,  and  yet  to  prescribe  laws  for  it  according  to 
which  it  ought  to  will.  "  Ought  to  will ! " — wooden  iron  ! 
But  it  follows  from  the  point  of  view  of  our  system  that 
the  will  is  not  only  free,  but  almighty.  From  it  proceeds 
not  only  its^actionT  but  also  its  world ;  and  as  JbETwill 
is, "so  does  its  action  and  its  world  become.  Both  are 
the  selHnowiedge  of  tnlT  wiTr^anT^nothihg  more.  The 
will  determines  itself,  and  at  the  same  time  both  its 
action  and  its  world ;  for  besides  it  there  is  nothing,  and 
these  are  the  will  itself.  Only  thus  is  the  will  truly 
autonomous,  and  from  every  other  point  of  view  it  is 
heteronomous.  Our  philosophical  endeavours  can  only 
extend  to  exhibiting  and  explaining  the  action  of  men 
in  its  inner  nature  and  contejii,  the  various  and  even 
opposite  maxims,  whose  living  expression  it  is.  This  we 
shall  do  in  connection  with  the  preceding  portion  of  our 
work,  and  in  precisely  the  same  way  as  we  have  hitherto 
explained  the  other  phenomena  of  the  world,  and  have 
sought  to_  brings  their  inmost  nature  to  distinct,  abstract 
jcnowledge.  OuT~philosophy  will  maintain  the  same 
immanency  in  the  case  of  action,  as  in  all  that  we  have 
hitherto  considered.  Notwithstanding  Kant's  great  doc- 
trine, it  will  not  attempt  to  use  the  forms  of  the  pheno- 
menon, the  universal  expression  of  which  is  the  principle 
of  sufficient  reason,  as  a  leaping-pole  to  jump  over  the 
phenomenon  itself,  which  alone  gives  meaning  to  these 
forms,  and  land  in  the  boundless  sphere  of  empty  fictions. 
But  this  actual  world  of  experience,  in  which  jwe  are,  and 
which  is  in  us,  remains  both  the  material  and  thej^mite 
of  our  consideration :  a  world  which  is  so  rich  in  content 
that  even  the  most  searching  investigation  of  which  the 
human  mind  is  capable  could  not  exhaust  it.  Since  then 
the  real  world  of  experience  will  never  fail  to  afford 
material  and  reality  to  our  ethical  investigations,  any  more 
than  to  those  we  have  already  conducted,  nothing  will  be 
less  needful  than  to  take  refuge  in  negative  conceptions 


352  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  bk.  iv. 

void  of  content,  and  then  somehow  or  other  make  even 
ourselves  believe  that  we  are  saying  something  when  we 
speak  with  lifted  eyebrows  of  "absolutes,"  "infinites," 
"  supersensibles,"  and  whatever  other  mere  negations  of 
this  sort  there  may  be  (ovhev  eon,  rj  to  ttjs  aTeprjaeco^; 
ovofia,  fiera  a/jbvSpas  eirwoui*; — nihil  est,  nisi  negationis 
nomen,  cum  obscura  notione. — Jul.  or.  5),  instead  of  which 
it  would  be  shorter  to  say  at  once  -cloud- cuckoo-town 
(v€(p€\oKotcfcvyui) :  we  shall  not  require  to  serve  up  covered 
empty  dishes  of  this  kind.  Finally,  we  shall  not  in  this 
book,  any  more  than  in  those  which  have  preceded  it, 
narrate  histories  and  give  them  out  as  philosophy.  For 
t  we  are  of  opinion  that  whoever  supposes  that  the  inner 
v  nature  of  the  world  can  m  any  way,  however  plausibly 

disguised,  be  historically  comprehended,  is  in  finitely  far 
from  a  philosophical  knowledge  of  the  world.  Yet  this  is 
what  is  supposed  whenever  a  a  becoming,"  or  a  "  having 
become,"  or  an  "  about  to  become  "  enters  into  a  theory  of 
the  nature  of  the  world,  whenever  an  earlier  or  a  later  has 
the  least  place  in  it ;  and  in  this  way  a  beginning  and  an 
end  of  the  world,  and  the  path  it  pursues  between  them,  is, 
either  openly  or  disguisedly,  both  sought  for  and  found, 
and  the  individual  who  philosophises  even  recognises  his 
own  position  on  that  path.  Such  historical  philosophis- 
ing in  most  cases  produces  a  cosmogony  which  admits 
of  many  varieties,  or  else  a  system  of  emanations,  a  doc- 
trine of  successive  disengagements  from  one  being;  or, 
finally,  driven  in  despair  from  fruitless  efforts  upon  these 
paths  to  the  last  path  of  all,  it  takes  refuge  in  the  con- 
verse doctrine  of  a  constant  becoming,  springing  up,  aris- 
ing, coming  to  light  out  of  darkness,  out  of  the  hidden 
ground  source  or  groundlessness,  or  whatever  other  non- 
sense of  this  sort  there  may  be,  which  is  most  shortly 
disposed  of  with  the  remark  that  at  the  1 ;  esent  moment  a 
whole  eternity,  i.e.,  an  endless  time,  has  already  passed,  so 
that  everything  that  can  or  ought  to  become  must  have 
already  done  so.      For  all  such  historical  philosophy,  what- 


THE  ASSERTION  AND  DENIAL  OF  THE  WILL.     353 

ever  airs  it  may  give  itself,  regards  time  just  as  if  Kant 
had  never  lived,  as  a  quality  of  the  thing- in-itself,  and  thus 
stops  at  that  which  Kant  calls  the  phenomenon  in  oppo- 
sition to  the  thing-in-itself ;  which  Plato  calls  the  becom- 
ing and  never  being,  in  opposition  to  the  being  and  never 
becoming;  and    winch,  finally,  is  called  in  the  Indian  * 
philosophy  the  web  of  Maya.     It  is  just  the  knowledge   \ 
which  belongs  to  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason,  with 
which   no  one  can   penetrate  to  the    inner   nature  of 
things,  but  endlessly  pursues  phenomena,  moving  without 
end  or  aim,  like  a  squirrel  in  its  wheel,  till,  tired  out 
at   last,   he    stops   at    some    point  or  other  arbitrarily 
chosen,  and  now  desires  to  extort  respect  for  it  from 
others   also.      The   genuine   philosophical   consideration 
of  the   world,  i.e.,  the  consideration  that  affords   us  a 
knowledge  of  its  inner  nature,  and  so  leads  us  beyond 
the  phenomenon,  is  precisely  that  method  which  does 
not  concern  itself  with  the   whence,  the  whither,  and 
the    why   of   the    world,   but    always    and    everywhere 
demands  only  the  what;   the  method  which  considers 
things  not  according  to  any  relation,  not  as   becoming 
and  passing  away,  in  short,  not  according  to  one  of  the 
four  forms  of  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason ;  but,  on 
the  contrary,  just  that   which   remains   when   all   that 
belongs  to  the  form  of  knowledge  proper  to  that  prin- 
ciple has  been  abstracted,  the  inner  nature  of  the  world, 
which  always   appears  unchanged  in  all  the   relations, 
but  is  itself  never  subject  to  them,  and  has  the  Ideas  of 
the  world  as  its  object  or  material.     From  such  knowledge 
as  this  proceeds    philosophy,  like  art,  and  also,  as  we 
shall  see  in  this  book,  that  disposition  of  mind  which 
alone  leads  to  true  holiness  and  to  deliverance  from  the 
world. 

§   54.    The  first  three  books  will,  it  is  hoped,  have 
conveyed  the  distinct  and  certain  knowledge  that  the 
world  as  idea  is  the  complete  mirror  of  the   will,  in  ! 
wnTch  it  knows  itself  in  ascending"grades" of  distinctness 


354 


THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  bk.  iv. 


> 


and  completeness,  the  highest  of  which  is  man,  whose 
I  nature,  however,  receives  its  complete  expression  only 
I  through  the  whole  connected  series  of  his  actions.  The 
self-conscious  connection  of  these  actions  is  made  pos- 
sible by  reason,  which  enables  a  man  constantly  to  survey 
the  whole  in  the  abstract. 

The  will,  which,  considered  purely  in  itself,  is  without 
knowledge,  and  is  merely  a  blind  incessant  impulse,  as 
we  see  it  appear  in  unorganised  and  vegetable  nature 
and  their  laws,  and  also  in  the  vegetative  part  of  our 
own  life,  receives  through  the  addition  of  the  world  as 
idea,  which  is  developed  in  subjection  to  it,  the  know- 
ledge of  its  own  williDg  and  of  what  it  is  that  it  wills. 
And  this  is  nothing  else  than  the  world  as  idea,  life, 
[/precisely  as  it  exists.  Therefore  we  called  the  pheno- 
!/menal  world  the  mirror  of  the  will,  its  objectivity. 
And  since  what  the  will  wills  is  always  life,  just  because 
life  is  nothing  but  the  representation  of  that  willing 
for  the  idea,  it  is  all  one  and  a  mere  pleonism  if, 
instead  of  simply  saying  "  the  will,"  we  say  "  the  will  to 
live." 

Will  is  the  thing  -  in  -  itself,  the  inner  content,  the 
essence  of  the  world.  Life,  the  visible  woild,  the 
phenomenon,  is  only  the  mirror  of  the  wilL  Therefore 
life  accompanies  the  will  as  inseparably  as  the  shadow 
accompanies  the  body  ;  and  if  will  exists,  so  will  life,  the 
world,  exist.  Life  is,  therefore,  assured  to  the  will  to 
live ;  and  so  long  as  we  are  filled  with  the  will  to  live  we 
need  have  no  fear  for  our  existence,  even  in  the  presence 
of  death.  It  is  true  we  see  the  individual  come  into 
being  and  pass  away  ;  but  the  individual  is  only  pheno- 
menal, exists  only  for  the  knowledge  which  is  bound  to 
the  principle  of  sufficient  reason,  to  the  principio  indi- 
viduationis.  Certainly,  for  this  kind  of  knowledge,  the 
individual  receives  his  life  as  a  gift,  rises  out  of  nothing, 
then  suffers  the  loss  of  this  gift  through  death,  and 
returns  again  to  nothing.     But  we  desire  to  consider  life 


THE  ASSERTION  AND  DENIAL  OF  THE  WILL.    355 

philosophically,  i.e.,  according   to  its  Ideas,  and   in  this 
sphere  we   shall   find  that  neither  the  will,  the  thing- 
in- itself  in  all  phenomena,  nor  the  subject  of  knowing, 
that  which  perceives  all  phenomena,  is  affected  at  all  by 
birth  or  by  death.     Birth  and  death  belong  merely  to  the 
phenomenon  of  will,  thus  to  life ;  and  it  is  essential  to 
this  to  exhibit  itself  in  individuals  which  come  into  being 
and  pass  away,  as  fleeting  phenomena  appearing  in  the 
form  of  time — phenomena  of  that  which  in  itself  knows 
no  time,  but  must  exhibit  itself  precisely  in  the  way  we 
have  said,  in  order  to  objectify  its  peculiar  nature.     Birth 
and  death  belong  in  like  manner  to  life,  and  hold  the 
balance  as  reciprocal  conditions  of  each  other,  or,  if  one 
likes  the  expression,  as  poles  of  the  whole  phenomenon 
of  life.     The  wisest  of  all  mythologies,  the  Indian,  ex- 
presses this  by  giving  to  the  very  god  that  symbolises 
destruction,  death  (as  Brahma,  the  most  sinful  and  the 
lowest  god  of  the  Trimurti,  symbolises  generation,  coming 
into  being,  and  Vishnu  maintaining  or  preserving),  by 
i  giving,  I  say,  to  Siva  as  an  attribute  not  only  the  neck- 
lace of  skulls,  but  also  the  lingam,  the  symbol  of  genera- 
tion, which  appears  here  as  the  counterpart  of  death,  thus 
signifying  that  generation  and  death  are  essentially  cor- 
relatives, which  reciprocally  neutralise  and  annul  each 
other.     It  was  precisely  the  same  sentiment  that  led  the 
Greeks  and  Romans  to  adorn  their  costly  sarcophagi,  just 
as  we  see  them  now,  with  feasts,  dances,  marriages,  the 
chase,  fights  of  wild  beasts,  bacchanalians,  &c. ;  thus  with 
representations  of  the  fuU  ardour  of  life,  which  they  place 
before  us  not  only  in  such  revels  and  sports,  but  also  in 
sensual  groups,  and  even  go  so  far  as  to  represent  the 
sexual  intercourse  of  satyrs  and  goats.     Clearly  the  aim 
was  to  point  in  the  most  impressive  manner  away  from 
the  death  of  the  mourned  individual  to  the  immortal  life 
of  nature,  and  thus  to  indicate,  though  without  abstract 
knowledge,  that  the  whole  of  nature  is  the  phenomenon 
and  also  the  fulfilment  of  the  will  to  live.     The  form  of 


• 


356  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  bk.  it. 

this  phenomenon  is  time,  space,  and  causality,  and  by 
means  of  these  individuation,  which  carries  with  it  that 
the  individual  must  come  into  being  and  pass  away.  But 
this  no  more  affects  the  will  to  live,  of  whose  manifesta- 
tion the  individual  is,  as  it  were,  only  a  particular  exam- 
ple or  specimen,  than  the  death  of  an  individual  injures 
~the  whole  of  nature.  For  it  is  not  the  individual,  but 
only  the  species  that  Nature  cares  for,  and  for  the  preser- 
vation of  which  she  so  earnestly  strives,  providing  for  it 
with  the  utmost  prodigality  through  the  vast  surplus  of 
the  seed  and  the  great  strength  of  the  fructifying  im- 
pulse. The  individual,  on  the  contrary,  neither  has  nor 
can  have  any  value  for  Nature,  for  her  kingdom  is  infi- 
nite time  and  infinite  space,  and  in  these  infinite  mul- 
tiplicity of  possible  individuals.  Therefore  she  is  always 
ready  to  let  the  individual  fall,  and  hence  it  is  not  only 
exposed  to  destruction  in  a  thousand  ways  by  the  most 
insignificant  accident,  but  originally  destined  for  it,  and 
conducted  towards  it  by  Nature  herself  from  the  moment 
it  has  served  its  end  of  maintaining  the  species.  Thus 
Nature  naively  expresses  the  great  truth  that  only  the 
Ideas,  not  the  individuals,  have,  properly  speaking,  reality, 
i.e.,  are  complete  objectivity  of  the  will.  Now,  since 
man  is  Nature  itself,  and  indeed  Nature  at  the  highest 
grade  of  its  self-consciousness,  but  Nature  is  only  the 
objectified  will  to  live,  the  man  who  has  comprehended 
and  retained  this  point  of  view  may  well  console  himself, 
when  contemplating  his  own  death  and  that  of  his  friends, 
by  turning  his  eyes  to  the  immortal  life  of  Nature,  which 
he  himself  is.  This  is  the  significance  of  Siva  with  the 
lingam,  and  of  those  ancient  sarcophagi  with  their  pictures 
of  glowing  life,  which  say  to  the  mourning  beholder, 
Natura  non  contristatur. 

That  generation  and  death  are  to  be  regarded  as  some- 
thing belonging  to  life,  and  essential  to  this  phenomenon 
of  the  will,  arises  also  from  the  fact  that  they  both  ex- 
hibit themselves  merely  as  higher  powers  of  the  expres- 


THE  ASSERTION  AND  DENIAL  OF  THE  WILL.     357 

sion  of  that  in  which  all  the  rest  of  life  consists.  This 
is  through  and  through  nothing  else  than  the  constant 
change  of  matter  in  the  fixed  permanence  of  form ;  and 
this  is  what  constitutes  the  transitoriness  of  the  indivi- 
dual and  the  permanence  of  the  species.  Constant  nour- 
ishment and  renewal  differ  from  generation  only  in  degree, 
and  constant  excretion  differs  only  in  degree  from  death. 
The  first  shows  itself  most  simply  and  distinctly  in  the 
plant.  The  plant  is  throughout  a  constant  recurrence  of 
the  same  impulse  of  its  simplest  fibre,  which  groups 
itself  into  leaf  and  branch.  It  is  a  systematic  aggregate 
of  similar  plants  supporting  each  other,  whose  constant 
reproduction  is  its  single  impulse.  It  ascends  to  the  full 
satisfaction  of  this  tendency  through  the  grades  of  its 
metamorphosis,  finally  to  the  blossom  and  fruit,  that 
compendium  of  its  existence  and  effort  in  which  it  now 
attains,  by  a  short  way,  to  that  which  is  its  single  aim, 
and  at  a  stroke  produces  a  thousand-fold  what,  up  till 
then,  it  effected  only  in  the  particular  case — the  repe- 
tition of  itself.  Its  earlier  growth  and  development 
stands  in  the  same  relation  to  its  fruit  as  writing  stands 
to  printing.  With  the  animal  it  is  clearly  quite  the 
same.  The  process  of  nourishing  is  a  constant  repro- 
duction fthe  process"  of  '"reproduction  is  a  higher  power 
of  nourishing.  The  pleasure  which  accompanies  the  act 
of  procreation  is  a  higher  power  of  the  agreeableness  of 
the  sense  of  life.  On  the  other  hand,  excretion,  the  con- 
stant exhalation  and  throwing  off  of  matter,  is  the  same 
as  that  which,  at  a  higher  power,  death,  is  the  contrary 
of  generation.  And  if  here  we  are  always  content  to 
retain  the  form  without  lamenting  the  discarded  matter, 
we  ought  to  bear  ourselves  in  the  same  way  if  in  death 
the  same  thing  happens,  in  a  higher  degree  and  to  the 
whole,  as  takes  place  daily  and  hourly  in  a  partial 
manner  in  excretion :  if  we  are  indifferent  to  the  one, 
we  ought  not  to  shrink  from  the  other.  |  Therefore,  from 
this  point  of  view,  it  appears  just  as  perverse  to  desire 


35»  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  BK.  iv. 

the  continuance  of  an  individuality  which  will  be  re* 
placed  by  other  individuals  as  to  desire  the  permanence 
of  matter  which  will  be  replaced  by  other  matter.  It 
appears  just  as  foolish  to  embalm  the  body  as  it  would 

;*i>e  carefully  to  preserve  its  excrement.  As  to  the  indi- 
vidual consciousness  which  is  bound  to  the  individual 
body,  it  is  absolutely  interrupted  every  day  by  sleep. 
Deep  sleep  is,  while  it  lasts,  in  no  way  different  from 
death,  into  which,  in  fact,  it  often  passes  continuously,  as 
in  the  case  of  freezing  to  death.  It  differs  only  with 
regard  to  the  future,  the  awaking.  Death  is  a  sleep  in 
which  individuality  is  forgotten;  everything  else  wakes 

■  again,  or  rather  never  slept1 

Above  all  things,  we  must  distinctly  recognise  that 
the  form  of  the  phenomenon  of  will,  the  form  of  life  or 
reality,  is  really  only  the  present,  not  the  future  nor  the 
past.  The  latter  are  only  in  the  conception,  exist  only 
in  the  connection  of  knowledge,  so  far  as  it  follows  the 
principle  of  sufficient  reason.  No  man  has  ever  lived  in 
the  past,  and  none  will  live  in  the  future ;  the  present 
alone  is  the  form  of  all  life,  and  is  its  sure  possession 
which  can  never  be  taken  from  it.  The  present  always 
exists,  together  with  its  content.  Both  remain  fixed 
without  wavering,  like  the  rainbow  on  the  waterfall. 
For  life  is  firm  and  certain  in  the  will,  and  the  present 
is  firm  and  certain  in  life.     Certainly,  if  we  reflect  on 

1  The  following  remark  may  assist  ourselves  in  ourselves,  and  indepen- 

those  for  whom  it  is  not  too  subtle  dent  of  the  objects  of  knowledge  and 

to  understand  clearly  that  the  indi-  will.      Now   this  is  by  no  means 

vidua!  is  only  the  phenomenon,  not  possible,  for  as  soon  as  we  turn  into 

the  thing  in  itself.      Every  indi-  ourselves  to  make  the  attempt,  and 

vidual    is,   on  the  one    hand,    the  seek  for  once  to  know  ourselves  fully 

subject  of  knowing,  i.e.,  the  comple-  by  means  of  introspective  reflection, 

mental  condition  of  the  possibility  we  are  lost  in  a  bottomless  void;  we 

of  the  whole  objective  world,  and,  find  ourselves  like  the  hollow  glass 

on    the    other    hand,    a  particular  globe,  from  out  of  which   a  voice 

phenomenon  of  will,  the  same  will  speaks    whose    cause   is   not  to   be 

which   objectifies    itself    in    every-  found  in  it,  and  whereas  we  desired 

thing.     But  this  double  nature  of  to  comprehend  ourselves,  we  find, 

our  being  does  not  rest  upon  a  self-  with    a    shudder,    nothing    but    ft 

existing  unity,  otherwise   it  would  vanishing  spectre, 
be  possible  for  us  to  be  conscious  of 


THE  ASSERTION  AND  DENIAL  OF  THE  WILL.    359 

the  thousands  of  years  that  are  past,  of  the  millions  of 
men  who  lived    in  them,    we    ask,    What  were    they? 
what  has  become  of  them  ?     But,  on  the  other  hand,  we 
need  only  recall  our  own  past  life  and  renew  its  scenes 
vividly  in  our  imagination,  and  then  ask  again,  What 
was  all  this  ?  what  has  become  of  it  ?     As  it  is  with  it, 
so  is  it  with  the  life  of  those  millions.     Or  should  we 
suppose  that  the  past  could  receive  a  new  existence  be- 
cause it  has  been  sealed  by  death  ?     Our  own  past,  the 
most  recent  part  of  it,  and  even  yesterday,  is  now  no 
more  than  an  empty  dream  of  the  fancy,  and  such  is  the 
past  of  all  those  millions.     What  was  ?     What  is  ?     The 
will,  of  which  life  is  the  mirror,  and  knowledge  free  from 
will,  which  beholds  it  clearly  in  that  mirror.     Whoever 
has  not  yet  recognised  this,  or  will  not  recognise  it,  must 
add  to  the  question  asked  above  as  to  the  fate  of  past 
generations   of   men  this   question   also:   Why  he,   the 
questioner,  is  so  fortunate  as  to  be  conscious  of  this  costly, 
fleeting,  and  only  real  present,  while  those  hundreds  of 
generations  of  men,  even  the  heroes  and  philosophers  of 
those  ages,  have  sunk  into  the  night  of  the  past,  and 
have  thus    become   nothing;   but   he,  his    insignificant 
ego,  actually  exists  ?  or  more  shortly,  though  somewhat 
strangely :  Why  this  now,  his  now,  is  just  now  and  was 
not  long  ago  ?     Since  he  asks  such  strange  questions,  he 
regards  his  existence  and  his  time  as  independent  of  each 
other,  and  the  former  as  projected  into  the  latter.     He 
assumes  indeed  two  nows — one  which  belongs  to  the 
object,  the   other    which    belongs    to    the   subject,   and 
marvels  at  the  happy  accident  of  their  coincidence.     But 
in  truth,  only  the  point  of  contact  of  the  object,  the  form 
of  which  is  time,  with  the  subject,  which  has  no  mode  of 
the  principle  of  sufficient  reason  as  its  form,  constitutes 
the  present,  as  is  shown  in  the  essay  on  the  principle  of 
sufficient  reason.     Now  all  object  is  the  will  so  far  as  it 
has  become  idea,  and  the  subject  is  the  necessary  cor- 
relative of  the  object.     But  real  objects  are  only  in  the 


360  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  bk.  iv. 

present ;  the  past  and  the  future  contain  only  conceptions 
and  fancies,  therefore  the  present  is  the  essential  form 
of  the  phenomenon  of  the  will,  and  inseparable  from  it. 
The  present  alone  is  that  which  always  exists  and  re- 
mains immovable.     That  which,  empirically  apprehended, 
is  the  most  transitory  of  all,  presents  itself  to  the  meta- 
physical vision,  which  sees  beyond  the  forms  of  empirical 
perception,  as  that  which  alone  endures,  the  nunc  stans 
of   the  schoolmen.      The  source  and  the  supporter  of 
its   content  is  the  will  to  live  or  the  thing -in -itself, 
— which  we  are.     That  which  constantly  becomes  and 
passes  away,  in  that  it  has  either  already  been  or  is 
still   to   be,   belongs   to    the    phenomenon   as    such    on 
account  of  its   forms,  which  make   coming   into   being 
and    passing    away   possible.       Accordingly,    we    must 
think  : — Quidfuit  ? — Quod  est.     Quid  erit  ? — Quod  fiiit ; 
and  take  it  in  the  strict  meaning  of  the  words;  thus 
understand  not  simile  but  idem.     For  life  is  certain  to 
the  will,  and  the  present  is  certain  to  life.      Thus  it 
is  that  every  one  can  say,  "  I  am  once  for  all  lord  of 
the  present,  and  through  all  eternity  it  will  accompany 
me  as  my  shadow :  therefore  I  do  not  wonder  where  it 
has  come  from,  and  how  it  happens  that  it  is  exactly 
now."      We   might   compare  time   to   a  constantly  re- 
volving sphere ;  the  half  that  was  always  sinking  would 
be  the  past,  that  which  was  always  rising  would  be  the 
future ;  but  the  indivisible  point  at  the  top,  where  the 
tangent   touches,  would    be    the   extensionless  present. 
As  the  tangent  does  not  revolve  with  the  sphere,  neither 
does  the  present,  the  point  of  contact  of  the  object,  the 
form  of  which  is  time,  with  the  subject,  which  lias  no 
form,  because  it  does  not  belong  to  the  knowable,  but 
is  the  condition  of  all  that  is  knowable.     Or,  time  is 
like   an   unceasing  stream,  and   the  present  a  rock  on 
which    the    stream    breaks    itself,   but   does    not  carry 
away  with  it.     The   will,  as  thing-in-itself,  is  just  as 
little  subordinate  to  the  principle  of   sufficient   reason 


THE  ASSERTION  AND  DENIAL  OF  THE  WILL.    361 

as  the  subject  of  knowledge,  which,  finally,  in  a  certain 
regard  is  the  will  itself  or  its  expression.  And  as  life, 
its  own  phenomenon,  is  assured  to  the  will,  so  is  the 
present,  the  single  form  of  real  life.  Therefore  we 
have  not  to  investigate  the  past  before  life,  nor  the 
future  after  death :  we  have  rather  to  know  the  present, 
the  one  form  in  which  the  will  manifests  itself.1  It 
will  not  escape  from  the  will,  but  neither  will  the  wilL 
escape  from  it.  If,  therefore,  life  as  it  is  satisfies,  I 
whoever  affirms  it  in  every  way  may  regard  it  with 
confidence  as  endless,  and  banish  the  fear  of  death  as 
an  illusion  that  inspires  him  with  the  foolish  dread  that 
he  can  ever  be  robbed  of  the  present,  and  foreshadows 
a  time  in  which  there  is  no  present ;  an  illusion  with 
regard  to  time  analogous  to  the  illusion  with  regard  to 
space  through  which  every  one  imagines  the  position  on 
the  globe  he  happens  to  occupy  as  above,  and  all  other 
places  as  below.  In  the  same  way  every  one  links  the 
present  to  his  own  individuality,  and  imagines  that  all 
present  is  extinguished  with  it;  that  then  past  and 
future  might  be  without  a  present.  But  as  on  the  sur- 
face of  the  globe  every  place  is  above,  so  the  form  of  all 
life  is  the  present,  and  to  fear  death  because  it  robs  us  of 
the  present,  is  just  as  foolish  as  to  fear  that  we  may  slip 
down  from  the  round  globe  upon  which  we  have  now  the 
good  fortune  to  occupy  the  upper  surface.  The  present  is 
the  form  essential  to  the  objectification  of  the  will.  It 
cuts  time,  which  extends  infinitely  in  both  directions,  as~ 
a  mathematical  point,  and  stands  immovably  fixed,  like 
an  everlasting  mid-day  with  no  cool  evening,  as  the 
actual  sun  burns  without  intermission,  while  it  only 
seems  to  sink  into  the  bosom  of  night.  Therefore,  if 
a  man  fears  death  as  his  annihilation,  it  is  just  as  if  he 
were  to  think  that  the  sun  cries  out  at  evening,  "  Woe  is 

1  "  Scholastici    docuerunt,  quod  quod  erat  Nunc  Adaino,  i.e.,  inter 

tttcrnitaa  non  sit  temporis  sine  fine  nunc  et  tunc  nullam  esse  differen- 

aut  principio  successio ;  sed  Nunc  tiam." — Hobbes,  Leviathan,  0.  46. 
ttam.  i.e.,  idem  nobis   Nunc  esse. 


, 


3^2  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  bk.  iv. 

me !  for  I  go  down  into  eternal  night."  *  And  conversely, 
whoever  is  oppressed  with  the  burden  of  life,  whoever 
desires  life  and  affirms  it,  but  abhors  its  torments,  and 
especially  can  no  longer  endure  the  hard  lot  that  has 
fallen  to  himself,  such  a  man  has  no  deliverance  to  hope 
for  from  death,  and  cannot  right  himself  by  suicide.  The 
cool  shades  of  Orcus  allure  him  only  with  the  false  appear- 
ance of  a  haven  of  rest.  The  earth  rolls  from  day  into 
night,  the  individual  dies,  but  the  sun  itself  shines  with- 
out intermission,  an  eternal  noon.  Life  is  assured  to  the 
will  to  live ;  the  form  of  life  is  an  endless  present,  no 
matter  how  the  individuals,  the  phenomena  of  the  Idea, 
arise  and  pass  away  in  time,  like  fleeting  dreams.  Thus 
even  already  suicide  appears  to  us  as  a  vain  and  therefore 
a  foolish  action ;  when  we  have  carried  our  investigation 
further  it  will  appear  to  us  in  a  still  less  favourable  light 
Dogmas  change  and  our  knowledge  is  deceptive ;  but 
Nature  never  errs,  her  procedure  is  sure,  and  she  nevei 
conceals  it.  Everything  is  entirely  in  Nature,  and  Nature 
is  entire  in  everything.  She  has  her  centre  in  every 
brute.  It  has  surely  found  its  way  into  existence,  and 
it  will  surely  find  its  way  out  of  it.  In  the  meantime  it 
lives,  fearless  and  without  care,  in  the  presence  of  annihi- 
lation, supported  by  the  consciousness  that  it  is  Nature 
herself,  and  imperishable  as  she  is.  Man  alone  carries 
about  with  him,  in  abstract  conceptions,  the  certainty  of 
his  death;  yet  this  can  only  trouble  him  very  rarely, 

1  In  Eckermann's  " Conversations  passage,  for  it  occurs  in  the  first 

of  Goethe"  (vol.  i.  p.  161),  Goethe  edition,  p.  401,  in  exactly  the  same 

says :    "  Our  spirit  is  a  being  of  a  words,  and  it  is  also  repeated  at 

nature  quite  indestructible,  and  its  p.   528  of  that  edition,  as  at  the 

activity  continues  from  eternity  to  close  of  §  65  of  the  present  work, 

eternity.     It  is  like  the  sun,  which  The  first  edition  was  sent  to  him  in 

seems  to  set  only  to  our  earthly  December  1818,  and  in  March  1819, 

eyes,  but  which,  in  reality,  never  when  I  was  at  Naples,  he  sent  me 

sets,    but   shines   on   unceasingly."  his  congratulations  by  letter,  through 

Goethe  has  taken  the  simile  from  my  sister,  and  enclosed  a  piece  of 

me  ;    not  I  from   him.      Without  paper  upon  which  he  had  noted  the 

doubt  he  used  it  in  this  conversa-  places  of  certain  passages  which  had 

tion,  which  was   held  in   1824,  in  specially  pleased  him.    Thus  he  had 

consequence  of  a  (possibly  uncon-  read  my  book. 
•cious)  reminiscence   of  the  above 


THE  ASSERTION  AND  DENIAL  OF  THE  WILL.    363 

when  for  a  single  moment  some  occasion  calls  it  up  to  his 
imagination.  Against  the  mighty  voice  of  Nature  reflec- 
tion can  do  little.  In  man,  as  in  the  brute  which  does 
not  think,  the  certainty  that  springs  from  his  inmost  con- 
sciousness that  he  himself  is  Nature,  the  world,  predomi- 
nates as  a  lasting  frame  of  mind ;  and  on  account  of  this 
no  man  is  observably  disturbed  by  the  thought  of  certain 
and  never- distant  death,  but  lives  as  if  he  would  live  for 
ever.  Indeed  this  is  carried  so  far  that  we  may  say  that 
no  one  has  really  a  lively  conviction  of  the  certainty  of 
his  death,  otherwise  there  would  be  no  great  difference 
between  his  frame  of  mind  and  that  of  a  condemned  cri- 
minal. Every  one  recognises  that  certainty  in  the  abstract 
and  theoretically,  but  lays  it  aside  like  other  theoretical 
truths  which  are  not  applicable  to  practice,  without  really 
receiving  it  into  his  living  consciousness.  Whoever  care- 
fully considers  this  peculiarity  of  human  character  will 
see  that  the  psychological  explanations  of  it,  from  habit 
and  acquiescence  in  the  inevitable,  are  by  no  means  suffi- 
cient, and  that  its  true  explanation  lies  in  the  deeper 
ground  we  have  given.  The  same  fact  explains  the  cir- 
cumstance that  at  all  times  and  among  all  peoples  dog- 
mas of  some  kind  or  other  relating  to  the  continued 
existence  of  the  individual  after  death  arise,  and  are 
believed  in,  although  the  evidence  in  support  of  them  must 
always  be  very  insufficient,  and  the  evidence  against  them 
forcible  and  varied.  But,  in  truth,  this  really  requires 
no  proof,  but  is  recognised  by  the  healthy  understanding 
as  a  fact,  and  confirmed  by  the  confidence  that  Nature 
never  lies  any  more  than  she  errs,  but  openly  exhibits 
and  naively  expresses  her  action  and  her  nature,  while 
only  we  ourselves  obscure  it  by  our  folly,  in  order  to 
establish  what  is  agreeable  to  our  limited  point  of  view. 

But  this  that  we  have  brought  to  clearest  conscious- 
ness, that  although  the  particular  phenomenon  of  the  will 
has  a  temporal  beginning  and  end,  the  will  itself  as  thing- 
in-itself  is  not  affected  by  it,  nor  yet  the  correlative  of 


364  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  bk.  iv 

all  object,  the  knowing  but  never  known  subject,  and 
"that  life  is  always  assured  to  the  will  to  live — this  is  not 
to  be  numbered  with  the  doctrines  of  immortality.  For 
permanence  has  no  more  to  do  with  the  will  or  with  the 
pure  subject  of  knowing,  the  eternal  eye  of  the  world, 
than  transitoriness,  for  both  are  predicates  that  are  only 
valid  in  time,  and  the  will  and  the  pure  subject  of  know- 
ing lie  outside  time.  Therefore  the  egoism  of  the  in- 
dividual (this  particular  phenomenon  of  will  enlightened 
by  the  subject  of  knowing)  can  extract  as  little  nourish- 
ment and  consolation  for  his  wish  to  endure  through 
endless  time  from  the  view  we  have  expressed,  as  he 
could  from  the  knowledge  that  after  his  death  the  rest 
of  the  eternal  world  would  continue  to  exist,  which  is 
just  the  expression  of  the  same  view  considered  objec- 
tively, and  therefore  temporally.  For  every  individual  is 
transitory  only  as  phenomenon,  but  as  thing-in-itself  is 
timeless,  and  therefore  endless.  But  it  is  also  only  as 
phenomenon  that  an  individual  is  distinguished  from  the 
other  things  of  the  world;  as  thing-in-itself  he  is  the 
will  which  appears  in  all,  and  death  destroys  the  illusion 
which  separates  his  consciousness  from  that  of  the 
rest:  this  is  immortality.  His  exemption  from  death, 
which  belongs  to  him  only  as  thing-in-itself,  is  for 
the  phenomenon  one  with  the  immortality  of  the  rest 
of  the  external  world.1  Hence  also,  it  arises  that 
although  the  inward  and  merely  felt  consciousness  of  that 
which  we  have  raised  to  distinct  knowledge  is  indeed,  as 
we  have  said,  sufficient  to  prevent  the  thought  of  death 
from  poisoning  the  life  of  the  rational  being,  because 
this  consciousness  is  the  basis  of  that  love  of  life  which 
maintains  everything  living,  and  enables  it  to  live  on 

1  This  is  expressed  in  the  Veda  also  by  the  fact  that,  in  a  special 

by  saying,  that  when  a  man  dies  his  ceremony,  the  dying  man  gives  over 

sight  becomes  one  with  the  sun,  his  his  senses  and  all  his  faculties  singly 

smell  with  the  earth,  his  taste  with  to  his  son,  in  whom  they  are  now 

water,  his  hearing  with  the  air,  his  supposed  to  live   on  (Oupnek'hat, 

speech  with  fire,  &c,  &c.  (Oupnek'-  vol.  ii.  p.  82  et  aeq.) 
hat,    vul.    i.   p.   249   it  seq.)      And 


THE  ASSERTION  AND  DENIAL  OF  THE  WILL.     365 

at  ease  as  if  there  were  no  such  thing  as  death,  so 
long  as  it  is  face  to  face  with  life,  and  turns  its 
attention  to  it,  yet  it  will  not  prevent  the  individual 
from  being  seized  with  the  fear  of  death,  and  trying 
in  every  way  to  escape  from  it,  when  it  presents  itself 
to  him  in  some  particular  real  case,  or  even  only  in 
his  imagination,  and  he  is  compelled  to  contemplate  it 
For  just  as,  so  long  as  his  knowledge  was  directed 
to  life  as  such,  he  was  obliged  to  recognise  immortality 
in  it,  so  when  death  is  brought  before  his  eyes,  he  is 
obliged  to  recognise  it  as  that  which  it  is,  the  temporal 
end  of  the  particular  temporal  phenomenon.  What  we 
fear  in  death  is  by  no  means  the  pain,  for  it  lies  clearly 
on  this  side  of  death,  and,  moreover,  we  often  take  refuge 
in  death  from  pain,  just  as,  on  the  contrary,  we  sometimes 
endure  the  most  fearful  suffering  merely  to  escape  death 
for  a  while,  although  it  would  be  quick  and  easy.  Thus 
we  distinguish  pain  and  death  as  two  entirely  different 
evils.  What  we  fear  in  death  is  the  end  of  the  indivi- 
dual, which  it  openly  professes  itself  to  be,  and  since  the 
individual  is  a  particular  objectification  of  the  will  to 
live  itself,  its  whole  nature  struggles  against  death.  Now 
when  feeling  thus  exposes  us  helpless,  reason  can  yet 
step  in  and  for  the  most  part  overcome  its  adverse  influ- 
ence, for  it  places  us  upon  a  higher  standpoint,  from 
which  we  no  longer  contemplate  the  particular  but  the 
whole.  Therefore  a  philosophical  knowledge  of  the  nature 
of  the  world,  which  extended  to  the  point  we  have  now 
reached  in  this  work  but  went  no  farther,  could  even  at 
this  point  of  view  overcome  the  terror  of  death  in  the 
measure  in  which  reflection  had  power  over  direct  feeling 
in  the  given  individual.  A  man  who  had  thoroughly 
assimilated  the  truths  we  have  already  advanced,  but  had 
not  come  to  know,  either  from  his  own  experience  or 
from  a  deeper  insight,  that  constant  suffering  is  essential 
to  life,  who  found  satisfaction  and  all  that  he  wished  in 
life,  and  could  calmly  and  deliberately  desire  that  his 


366  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  bk.  iv. 

life,  as  he  had  hitherto  known  it,  should  endure  for  ever 
or  repeat  itself  ever  anew,  and  whose  love  of  life  was  so 
great  that  he  willingly  and  gladly  accepted  all  the  hard- 
ships and  miseries  to  which  it  is  exposed  for  the  sake  of 
its  pleasures, — such  a  man  would  stand  "  with  firm-knit 
bones  on  the  well-rounded,  enduring  earth,"  and  would 
have  nothing  to  fear.     Armed  with  the  knowledge  we 
have  given  him,  he  would  await  with  indifference  the 
death  that  hastens  towards  him  on  the  wings  of  time. 
He  would  regard  it  as  a  false  illusion,  an  impotent  spectre, 
which  frightens  the  weak  but  has  no  power  over  him 
who  knows  that  he  is  himself  the  will  of  which  the  whole 
world  is  the  objectification  or  copy,  and  that  therefore  he 
:  is  always  certain   of  life,  and  also  of  the  present,  the 
peculiar  and  only  form  of  the  phenomenon  of  the  wilL 
He  could  not  be  terrified  by  an  endless  past  or  future  in 
which  he  would  not  be,  for  this  he  would  regard  as  the 
empty  delusion  of  the  web  of  Maya.     Thus  he  would  no 
more  fear  death  than  the  sun  fears  the  night.     In  the 
"Bhagavad-Gita"  Krishna  thus  raises  the  mind  of  his  young 
pupil  Arjuna,  when,  seized  with  compunction  at  the  sight 
of  the  arrayed  hosts  (somewhat  as  Xerxes  was),  he  loses 
heart  and  desires  to  give  up  the  battle  in  order  to  avert 
the  death  of  so  many  thousands.     Krishna  leads  him  to 
this  point  of  view,  and  the  death  of  those  thousands  can 
no  longer  restrain  him ;  he  gives  the  sign  for  battle.    This 
point  of  view  is  also  expressed  by  Goethe's  Prometheus, 
especially  when  he  says — 

"  Here  sit  I,  form  mankind 
In  my  own  image, 
A  race  like  to  myself, 
To  suffer  and  to  weep, 
Rejoice,  enjoy, 
And  heed  thee  not, 
As  I." 

The  philosophy  of  Bruno  and  that  of  Spinoza  might  also 
lead  any  one  to  this  point  of  view  whose  conviction  was 


THE  ASSERTION  AND  DENIAL  OF  THE  WILL.     367 

not  shaken  and  weakened  by  their  errors  and  imperfec- 
tions. That  of  Bruno  has  properly  no  ethical  theory  at 
all,  and  the  theory  contained  in  the  philosophy  of  Spinoza 
does  not  really  proceed  from  the  inner  nature  of  his  doc- 
trine, but  is  merely  tacked  on  to  it  by  means  of  weak  and 
palpable  sophisms,  though  in  itself  it  is  praiseworthy  and 
beautiful  Finally,  there  are  many  men  who  would  occupy 
this  point  of  view  if  their  knowledge  kept  pace  with 
their  will,  i.e.,  if,  free  from  all  illusion,  they  were  in 
a  position  to  become  clearly  and  distinctly  themselves. 
For  this  is,  for  knowledge,  the  point  of  view  of  the  com- 
plete assertion  of  the  will  to  live.  J 

That  the  will  asserts  itself  means,  that  while  in  its 
objectivity,  ie.,  in  the  world  and  life,  its  own  nature  is 
completely  and  distinctly  given  it  as  idea,  this  knowledge 
does  not  by  any  means  check  its  volition ;  but  this  very 
life,  so  known,  is  willed  as  such  by  the  will  with  know- 
ledge, consciously  and  deliberately,  just  as  up  to  this 
point  it  willed  it  as  blind  effort  without  knowledge.  The 
opposite  of  this,  the  denial  of  the  will  to  live,  shows  itself 
if,  when  that  knowledge  is  attained,  volition  ends,  because 
the  particular  known  phenomena  no  longer  act  as  motives 
for  willing,  but  the  whole  knowledge  of  the  nature  of  the 
world,  the  mirror  of  the  will,  which  has  grown  up  through 
the  comprehension  of  the  Ideas,  becomes  a  quieter  of  the 
will ;  and  thus  free,  the  will  suppresses  itsej.i j  These  quite 
unfamiliar  conceptions  are  difficult  to  understand  when 
expressed  in  this  general  way,  but  it  is  hoped  they  will 
become  clear  through  the  exposition  we  shall  give  pre- 
sently, with  special  reference  to  action,  of  the  phenomena 
in  which,  on  the  one  hand,  the  assertion  in  its  different 
grades,  and,  on  the  other  hand,  the  denial,  expresses  itself. 
For  both  proceed  from  knowledge,  yet  not  from  abstract 
knowledge,  which  is  expressed  in  words,  but  from  living 
knowledge,  which  is  expressed  in  action  and  behaviour 
alone,  and  is  independent  of  the  dogmas  which  at  the 
same  time  occupy  the  reason  as  abstract  knowledge.     To  J* 


368  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  bk.  iv. 

exhibit  them  both,  and  brin^  them  to  distinct  knowledge 
of  the  reason,  can  alone  be  my  aim,  and  not  to  prescribe 
or  recommend  the  one  or  the  other,  which  would  be  as 
foolish  as  it  would  be  useless ;  for  the  will  in  itself  is 
absolutely  free  and  entirely  self-determining,  and  for  it 
there  is  no  law.  But  before  we  go  on  to  the  exposition 
referred  to,  we  must  first  explain  and  more  exactly  define 
this  freedom  and  its  relation  to  necessity.  And  also,  with 
regard  to  the  life,  the  assertion  and  denial  of  which  is 
our  problem,  we  must  insert  a  few  general  remarks  con- 
nected with  the  will  and  its  objects.  Through  all  this 
we  shall  facilitate  the  apprehension  of  the  inmost  nature 
of  the  knowledge  we  are  aiming  at,  of  the  ethical  signifi- 
cance of  methods  of  action. 

Since,  as  has  been  said,  this  whole  work  is  only  the 
unfolding  of  a  single  thought,  it  follows  that  all  its  parts 
have  the  most  intimate  connection  with  each  other.  Not 
merely  that  each  part  stands  in  a  necessary  relation  to 
what  immediately  precedes  it,  and  only  presupposes  a 
recollection  of  that  by  the  reader,  as  is  the  case  with  all 
philosophies  which  consist  merely  of  a  series  of  inferences, 
but  that  every  part  of  the  whole  work  is  related  to  every 
other  part  and  presupposes  it.  It  is,  therefore,  necessary 
that  the  reader  should  remember  not  only  what  has  just 
been  said,  but  all  the  earlier  parts  of  the  work,  so  that 
he  may  be  able  to  connect  them  with  what  he  is  reading, 
however  much  may  have  intervened.  Plato  also  makes 
this  demand  upon  his  readers  through  the  intricate  digres- 
sions of  his  dialogues,  in  which  he  only  returns  to  the 
leading  thought  after  long  episodes,  which  illustrate  and 
explain  it  In  our  case  this  demand  is  necessary;  for 
the  breaking  up  of  our  one  single  thought  into  its  many 
aspects  is  indeed  the  only  means  of  imparting  it,  though 
not  essential  to  the  thought  itself,  but  merely  an  artificial 
form.  The  division  of  four  principal  points  of  view  into 
four  books,  and  the  most  careful  bringing  together  of  all 
that  is  related  and  homogeneous,  assists  the  exposition 


THE  ASSERTION  AND  DENIAL  OF  THE   WILL.     369 

and  its  comprehension ;  yet  the  material  absolutely  does 
not  admit  of  an  advance  in  a  straight  line,  such  as  the 
progress  of  history,  but  necessitates  a  more  complicated 
exposition.  This  again  makes  a  repeated  study  of  the 
book  necessary,  for  thus  alone  does  the  connection  of  all 
the  parts  with  each  other  become  distinct,  and  only  then 
do  they  all  mutually  throw  light  upon  each  other  and 
become  quite  clear.1 

§  5  5.  That  the  will  as  such  is  free,  follows  from  the  g  V 
fact  that,  according  to  our  view,  it  is  the  thing-in-itself, 
the  content  of  all  phenomena.  The  phenomena,  on  the 
other  hand,  we  recognise  as  absolutely  subordinate  to 
the  principle  of  sufficient  reason  in  its  four  forms. 
And  since  we  know  that  necessity  is  throughout  iden- 
tical with  following  from  given  grounds,  and  that  these 
are  convertible  conceptions,  all  that  belongs  to  the 
phenomenon,  i.e.,  all  that  is  object  for  the  knowing 
subject  as  individual,  is  in  one  aspect  reason,  and  in 
another  aspect  consequent;  and  in  this  last  capacity  is 
determined  with  absolute  necessity,  and  can,  therefore,  in 
no  respect  be  other  than  it  is.  The  whole  content  of 
Nature,  the  collective  sum  of  its  phenomena,  is  thus 
throughout  necessary,  and  the  necessity  of  every  part, 
of  every  phenomenon,  of  every  event,  can  always  be 
proved,  because  it  must  be  possible  to  find  the  reason 
from  which  it  follows  as  a  consequent.  This  admits 
of  no  exception:  it  follows  from  the  unrestricted  vali- 
dity of  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason.  In  another 
aspect,  however,  the  same  world  is  for  us,  in  all  its 
phenomena,  objectivity  of  will.  And  the  will,  since  it 
is  not  phenomenon,  is  not  idea  or  object,  but  thing-in- 
itself,  and  is  not  subordinate  to  the  principle  of  suffi- 
cient reason,  the  form  of  all  object ;  thus  is  not  deter- 
mined as  a  consequent  through  any  reason,  knows  no 
necessity,  i.e.,  is  free.     The  concept  of  freedom  is   thus 

1  Cf.  Chap.  xli.-xliv.  of  Supplement. 
VOL.   I.  2  A 


J70  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  bk.  iv. 

properly  a  negative  concept,  for  its  content  is  merely 
the  denial  of  necessity,  i.e.,  the  relation  of  consequent 
to  its  reason,  according  to  the  principle  of  sufficient 
reason.  Now  here  lies  before  us  in  its  most  distinct 
form  the  solution  of  that  great  contradiction,  the  union 
of  freedom  with  necessity,  which  has  so  often  been 
discussed  in  recent  times,  yet,  so  far  as  I  know,  never 
clearly  and  adequately.  Everything  is  as  phenomenon, 
as  object,  absolutely  necessary :  in  itself  it  is  will,  which 
is  perfectly  free  to  all  eternity.  The  phenomenon,  the 
object,  is  necessarily  and  unalterably  determined  in  that 
chain  of  causes  and  effects  which  admits  of  no  inter- 
ruption. But  the  existence  in  general  of  this  object, 
and  its  specific  nature,  i.e.,  the  Idea  which  reveals 
itself  in  it,  or,  in  other  words,  its  character,  is  a  direct 
manifestation  of  wilL  Thus,  in  conformity  with  the 
freedom  of  this  will,  the  object  might  not  be  at  all,  or 
it  might  be  originally  and  essentially  something  quite 
different  from  what  it  is,  in  which  case,  however,  the 
whole  chain  of  which  it  is  a  link,  and  which  is  itself  a 
manifestation  of  the  same  will,  would  be  quite  different 
also.  But  once  there  and  existing,  it  has  entered  the 
chain  of  causes  and  effects,  is  always  necessarily 
determined  in  it,  and  can,  therefore,  neither  become  some- 
thing else,  i.e.,  change  itself,  nor  yet  escape  from  the 
chain,  i.e.y  vanish.  Man,  like  every  other  part  of  Nature, 
is  objectivity  of  the  will ;  therefore  all  that  has  been  said 
holds  good  of  him.  As  everything  in  Nature  has  its 
forces  and  qualities,  which  react  in  a  definite  way  when 
definitely  affected,  and  constitute  its  character,  man  also 
has  his  character,  from  which  the  motives  call  forth  his 
actions  with  necessity.  In  this  manner  of  conduct  his 
empirical  character  reveals  itself,  but  in  this  again  his 
intelligible  character,  the  will  in  itself,  whose  determined 
phenomenon  he  is.  But  man  is  the  most  complete  pheno- 
menon of  will,  and,  as  we  explained  in  the  Second  Book,  he 
had  to  be  enlightened  with  so  high  a  degree  of  knowledge 


t 


THE  ASSERTION  AND  DENIAL  OF  THE  WILL.     371 

in  order  to  maintain  himself  in  existence,  that  in  it  a  per- 
fectly adequate  copy  or  repetition  of  the  nature  of  the  world 
under  the  form  of  the  idea  became  possible :  this  is  the  com- 
prehension of  the  Ideas,  the  pure  mirror  of  the  world,  as  we 
earnt  in  the  Third  Book.  Thus  in  man  the  will  can  attain 
to  full  self-consciousness,  to  distinct  and  exhaustive  know- 
ledge of  its  own  nature,  as  it  mirrors  itself  in  the  whole  world. 
We  saw  in  the  preceding  book  that  art  springs  from  the 
actual  presence  of  this  degree  of  knowledge ;  and  at  the 
end  of  our  whole  work  it  will  further  appear  that,  through 
the  same  knowledge,  in  that  the  will  relates  it  to  itself,  a 
suppression  and  self-denial  of  the  will  in  its  most  perfect  ( 
manifestation  is  possible.  So  that  the  freedom  which 
otherwise,  as  belonging  to  the  thing-in-itself,  can  never 
show  itself  in  the  phenomenon,  in  such  a  case  does  also 
appear  in  it,  and,  by  abolishing  the  nature  which  lies  at 
the  foundation  of  the  phenomenon,  while  the  latter  itself 
still  continues  to  exist  in  time,  it  brings  about  a  contra- 
diction of  the  phenomenon  with  itself,  and  in  this  way 
exhibits  the  phenomena  of  holiness  and  self-renuncia- 
tion. But  all  this  can  only  be  fully  understood  at 
the  end  of  this  book.  What  has  just  been  said 
merely  affords  a  preliminary  and  general  indication  of 
how  man  is  distinguished  from  all  the  other  phenomena 
of  will  by  the  fact  that  freedom,  i.e.,  independence  of 
the  principle  of  sufficient  reason,  which  only  belongs 
to  the  will  as  thing-in-itself,  and  contradicts  the 
phenomenon,  may  yet  possibly,  in  his  case,  appear  in  the 
phenomenon  also,  where,  however,  it  necessarily  exhibits 
itself  as  a  contradiction  of  the  phenomenon  with  itself. 
In  this  sense,  not  only  the  will  in  itself,  but  man  also 
may  certainly  be  called  free,  and  thus  distinguished  from 
all  other  beings.  But  how  this  is  to  be  understood  can 
only  become  clear  through  all  that  is  to  follow,  and  for 
the  present  we  must  turn  away  from  it  altogether.  For, 
in  the  first  place,  we  must  beware  of  the  error  that  the 
action  of  the  individual  definite  man  is  subject   to  no 


372  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  nK.  iv 

necessity,  i.e.,  that  the  power  of  the.  motive  is  less  certain 
than  the  power  of  the  cause,  or  the  following  of  the  con- 
clusion from  the  premises.     The  freedom  of  the  will  as 
thing-in-itself,  if,  as  has  been  said,  we  abstract  from  the 
entirely  exceptional  case  mentioned  above,  by  no  means 
extends  directly  to  its  phenomenon,  not  even  in  the  case 
in  which  this  reaches  the  highest  ^rade  of  its  visibility, 
and  thus  does  not  extend  to  the  rational  animal  endowed 
with  individual  character,  i.e.,  the  person.     The  person  is 
never  free  although  he  is  the  phenomenon  of  a  free  will ; 
for  he  is  already  the  determined  phenomenon  of  the  free 
volition  of  this  will,  and,  because  he  enters  the  form  of 
every  object,  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason,  he  develops 
indeed  the  unity  of  that  will  in  a  multiplicity  of  actions, 
but  on  account  of  the  timeless  unity  of  that  volition  in 
itself,  this  multiplicity  exhibits  in  itself  the  regular  con- 
formity to  law  of  a  force  of  Nature.     Since,  however,  it  is 
that  free  volition  that  becomes  visible  in  the  person  and 
the  whole  of  his  conduct,  relating  itself  to  him  as  the 
concept  to  the  definition,  every  individual  action  of  the 
person  is  to  be  ascribed  to  the  free  will,  and  directly  pro- 
claims itself  as  such  in  consciousness.     Therefore,  as  was 
said  in  the  Second  Book,  every  one  regards  himself  a 
priori  (i.e.,  here  in  this  original  feeling)  as  free  in  his 
individual  actions,  in  the  sense  that  in  every  given  case 
every  action  is  possible  for  him,  and  he  only  recognises 
a  posteriori  from  experience  and  reflection  upon  experi- 
ence that  his  actions  take  place  with  absolute  necessity 
from  the  coincidence  of  his  character  with  his  motives. 
Hence  it  arises  that  every  uncultured  man,  following  his 
feeling,  ardently  defends  complete  freedom  in  particular 
actions,  while  the  great  thinkers  of  all  ages,  and  indeed 
the  more  profound  systems  of  religion,  have  denied  it 
But  whoever  has  come   to  see  clearly  that  the  whole 
nature  of  man  is  will,  and  he  himself  only  a  phenomenon 
of  this  will,  and  that  such  a  phenomenon  has,  even  from 
the  subject  itself,  the  principle  of  sufficient  reason  as  its 


THE  ASSERTION  AND  DENIAL  OF  THE  WILL.    373 

necessary  form,  which  here  appears  as  the  law  of  motiva- 
tion,— such  a  man  will  regard  it  as  just  as  absurd  to 
doubt  the  inevitable  nature  of  an  action  when  the  motive 
is  presented  to  a  given  character,  as  to  doubt  that  the 
three  angles  of  any  triangle  are  together  equal  to  two 
right  angles.  Priestley  has  very  sufficiently  proved  the 
necessity  of  the  individual  action  in  his  "Doctrine  of 
Philosophical  Necessity ; "  but  Kant,  whose  merit  in  this 
respect  is  specially  great,  first  proved  the  coexistence 
of  this  necessity  with  the  freedom  of  the  will  in  itself, 
i.e.,  apart  from  the  phenomenon,1  by  establishing  the  dis- 
tinction between  the  intelligible  and  the  empirical  character. 
I  entirely  adhere  to  this  distinction,  for  the  former  is  the 
will  as  thing-in-itself  so  far  as  it  appears  in  a  definite  indi- 
vidual in  a  definite  grade,  and  the  latter  is  this  phenomenon 
itself  as  it  exhibits  itself  in  time  in  the  mode  of  action,  and 
in  space  in  the  physical  structure.  In  order  to  make  the 
relation  of  the  two  comprehensible,  the  best  expression  is 
that  which  I  have  already  used  in  the  introductory  essay, 
that  the  intelligible  character  of  every  man  is  to  be  re- 
garded as  an  act  of  will  outside  time,  and  therefore 
indivisible  and  unchangeable,  and  the  manifestation  of 
this  act  of  will  developed  and  broken  up  in  time  and 
space  and  all  the  forms  of  the  principle  of  sufficient 
reason  is  the  empirical  character  as  it  exhibits  itself  for 
experience  in  the  whole  conduct  and  life  of  this  man. 
As  the  whole  tree  is  only  the  constantly  repeated  mani- 
festation of  one  and  the  same  tendency,  which  exhibits 
itself  in  its  simplest  form  in  the  fibre,  and  recurs  and  is 
easily  recognised  in  the  construction  of  the  leaf,  shoot, 
branch,  and  trunk,  so  all  a  man's  deeds  are  merely  the 
constantly  repeated  expression,  somewhat  varied  in  form, 
of  his  intelligible  character,  and  the  induction  based  on 
the  sum  of  all  these  expressions  gives  us  his  empirical 

]  "  Critique  of  Pure  Reason,"  first  tical  Reason,"  fourth  edition,  pp. 
edition,  pp.  532-558;  fifth  edition,  169-179;  Rosenkranz's  edition,  pp. 
pp.  560-586 ;  and  "  Critique  of  Prac-    224-231. 


u 


v 


374  THE  WOflLD  ^5  W/LL.  bk.  iv. 

character.  For  the  rest,  I  shall  not  at  this  point  repeat 
in  my  own  words  Kant's  masterly  exposition,  but  pre- 
suppose it  as  known. 

In  the  year  1840  I  dealt  with  the  important  chapter 
on  the  freedom  of  the  will,  thoroughly  and  in  detail,  in 
my  crowned  prize-essay  upon  the  subject,  and  exposed 
the  reason  of  the  delusion  which  led  men  to  imagine  that 
they  found  an  empirically  given  absolute  freedom  of  the 
will,  that  is  to  say,  a  liberum  arhitrium  indiffcrentioe,  as  a 
fact  in  self-consciousness;  for  the  question  propounded 
for  the  essay  was  with  great  insight  directed  to  this 
point  Therefore,  as  I  refer  the  reader  to  that  work, 
and  also  to  the  tenth  paragraph  of  the  prize-essay  on 
the  basis  of  morals,  which  was  published  along  with  it 
under  the  title  "The  Two  Fundamental  Problems  of 
Ethics,"  I  now  omit  the  incomplete  exposition  of  the 
necessity  of  the  act  of  will,  which  was  given  at  this  place 
in  the  first  edition.  Instead  of  it  I  shall  explain  the 
delusion  mentioned  above  in  a  brief  discussion  which  is 
presupposed  in  the  nineteenth  chapter  of  the  supple- 
ment to  the  present  work,  and  therefore  could  not  be 
_,given  in  the  prize-essay  referred  to. 

Apart  from  the  fact  that  the  will  as  the  true  thing-in- 
itself  is  actually  original  and  independent,  and  that  the 
feeling  of  its  originality  and  absoluteness  must  accompany 
its  acts  in  self-consciousness,  though  here  they  are  already 
determined,  there  arises  the  illusion  of  an  empirical  free- 
dom  of  the  will  (instead  of  the  transcendental  freedom 
which  alone  is  to  be  attributed  to  it),  and  thus  a  freedom 
6"f  Its  particular  actions,  from  that  attitude  of  the  intellect 
towards  the  will  which  is  explained,  separated,  and  sub- 
ordinated in  the  nineteenth  chapter  of  the  supplement, 
especially  under  No.  3.  The  intellect  knows  the  con- 
clusions of  the  will  only  a  'posteriori  and  empirically; 
therefore  when  a  choice  is  presented,  it  has  no  data  as  to 
how  the  will  is  to  decide.  For  the  intelligible  character, 
by  virtue  of  which,  when  motives  are  given,  only  oiu 


THE  ASSERTION  AND  DENIAL  OF  THE  WILL.    375 

decision  is  possible  and  is  therefore  necessary,  does  not 
come  within  the  knowledge  of  the  intellect,  but  merely 
the  empirical  character  is  known  to  it  through  the  suc- 
cession of  its  particular  acts.  Therefore  it  seems  to  the 
intellect  that  in  a  given  case  two  opposite  decisions  are 
possible  for  the  will  But  this  is  just  the  same  thing 
as  if  we  were  to  say  of  a  perpendicular  beam  that 
has  lost  its  balance,  and  is  hesitating  which  way  to 
fall,  "  It  can  fall  either  to  the  right  hand  or  the  left." 
This  can  has  merely  a  subjective  significance,  and  really 
means  "as  far  as  the  data  known  to  us  are  concerned." 
Objectively,  the  direction  of  the  fall  is  necessarily  deter- 
mined as  soon  as  the  equilibrium  is  lost.  Accordingly, 
the  decision  of  one's  own  will  is  undetermined  only  to 
the  beholder,  one's  own  intellect,  and  thus  merely  rela- 
tively and  subjectively  for  the  subject  of  knowing.  In 
itself  and  objectively,  on  the  other  hand,  in  every  choice 
presented  to  it,  its  decision  is  at  once  determined  and 
necessary.  But  this  determination  only  comes  into  con- 
sciousness through  the  decision  that  follows  upon  it. 
Indeed,  we  receive  an  empirical  proof  of  this  when  any 
difficult  and  important  choice  lies  before  us,  but  only 
under  a  condition  which  is  not  yet  present,  but  merely 
hoped  for,  so  that  in  the  meanwhile  we  can  do  nothing, 
but  must  remain  passive.  Now  we  consider  how  we  shall 
decide  when  the  circumstances  occur  that  will  give  us 
a  free  activity  and  choice.  Generally  the  foresight  of 
rational  deliberation  recommends  one  decision,  while  direct 
inclination  leans  rather  to  the  other.  So  long  as  we  are 
compelled  to  remain  passive,  the  side  of  reason  seems  to 
wish  to  keep  the  upperhand ;  but  we  see  beforehand  how 
strongly  the  other  side  will  influence  us  when  the  oppor- 
tunity for  action  arises.  Till  then  we  are  eagerly  con- 
cerned to  place  the  motives  on  both  sides  in  the  clearest 
light,  by  calm  meditation  on  the  pro  et  contra,  so  that 
every  motive  may  exert  its  full  influence  upon  the  will 
when  the  time  arrives,  and  it  may  not  be  misled  by  a 


376  THE  WORLD  AS  WILL.  bk.  iv. 

mistake  on  the  part  of  the  intellect  to  decide  otherwise 
than  it  would  have  done  if  all  the  motives  had  their  due 
influence  upon  it.  But  this  distinct  unfolding  of  the  mo- 
tives on  both  sides  is  all  that  the  intellect  can  do  to  assist 
the  choice.  It  awaits  the  real  decision  just  as  passively  and 
with  the  same  inteuse  curiosity  as  if  it  were  that  of  a 
foreign  will.  Therefore  from  its  point  of  view  both  deci- 
sions must  seem  to  it  equally  possible ;  and  this  is  just 
the  illusion  of  the  empirical  freedom  of  the  will.  Cer- 
tainly the  decision  enters  the  sphere  of  the  intellect  alto- 
gether empirically,  as  the  final  conclusion  of  the  matter; 
but  yet  it  proceeded  from  the  inner  nature,  the  intelli- 
gible character,  of  the  individual  will  in  its  conflict  with 
given  motives,  and  therefore  with  complete  necessity. 
The  intellect  can  do  nothing  more  than  bring  out  clearly 
and  fully  the  nature  of  the  motives ;  it  cannot  determine 
the  will  itself ;  for  the  will  is  quite  inaccessible  to  it,  and, 
as  we  have  seen,  cannot  be  investigated. 

If,  under  the  same  circumstances,  a  man  could  act  now 
one  way  and  now  another,  it  would  be  necessary  that 
his  will  itself  should  have  changed  in  the  meantime,  and 
thus  that  it  should  lie  in  time,  for  change  is  only  possible 
in  time;    but   then  either   the   will   would   be  a  mere 
phenomenon,  or  time  would  be  a  condition  of  the  thing- 
in-itself.     Accordingly  the  dispute  as  to  the  freedom  of 
the  particular  action,  the  liberum  arbitrium  indifferentue, 
really  turns  on  the  question  whether  the  will  lies  in  time 
or  not.     If,  as  both  Kant's  doctrine  and  the  whole  of  my 
system  necessitates,  the  will  is  the  thing-in-itself  outside 
time  and  outside  every  form  of  the  principle  of  sufficient 
reason,  not  only  must  the  individual  act  in  the  same  way 
in  the  same  circumstances,  and  not  only  must  eveiy  bad 
action  be  the  sure  warrant  of  innumerable  others,  which 
the  individual  must  perform  and  cannot  leave,  but,  as  Kant 
said,  if  only  the  empirical  character  and  the  motives  were 
completely  given,  it  would  be  possible  to  calculate  the 
future  conduct  of  a   man  just  as  we  can  calculate  an 


THE  ASSERTION  AND  DENIAL  OF  THE  WILL.    377 

eclipse  of  the  sun  or  moon.  As  Nature